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Barrow swears in new cabinet, one coalition party missing

Feb 2, 2017, 11:44 AM | Article By: Lamin Jahateh & Kaddijatou Jawo

Ten of the eleven ministers appointed so far were sworn in yesterday at the Kairaba Beach Hotel which is temporarily serving as the State House of President Adama Barrow.

However, one of the eight parties that formed the coalition government has so far no member in the new cabinet of President Barrow.

They are Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Aboard; Omar A Jallow, minister of Agriculture; Hamat N.K. Bah, minister of Tourism and Culture; Mai Ahmed Fatty, minister of the Interior; Henry Gomez, minister of Youth and Sports; Lamin B. Dibba, minister of Forestry, Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources; Isatou Touray, minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment; Amadou Sanneh, minister of Finance and Economic Affairs; James Gomez, minister of Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters; and Lamin N. Dibba, minister of Lands and Regional Government.

Ba Tambadou has been appointed minister of Justice but he was not sworn in yesterday for he was out of The Gambia at the moment. 

Fatoumata Tambajang who is appointed vice president is also yet to be sworn in; she is currently representing the president at the 28th African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Missing party

Three of the ministers sworn in are members of the United Democratic Party (UDP) while the other seven parties of the coalition has one each in the cabinet. 

The Peoples Democratic Party for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS), led by Halifa Sallah, has no representative in the cabinet so far.  Mr Sallah, who is the spokesperson of the government, was not even seen at the swearing in ceremony. 

Sedia Jatta, an executive member of PDOIS, was approached for any possible explanation for the party’s absence in the cabinet but declined to comment.

Earlier on, Mr Sallah had said the eleven appointed ministers are appointed based on the compact, the agreement of the coalition. 

According to the coalition agreement seen by The Point newspaper, cabinet composition of the new government should take consideration of the results of the last presidential and parliamentary elections and gender balance.  There is so far one female cabinet minister. 

In the 2011 elections, the UDP-led coalition came out second, next to the then ruling APRC party, with 17.36 per cent while the NRP-led alliance had 11.11 per cent.

More to come

Seven ministers are yet to be appointed.

Mr Sallah had said these ministers, as opposed to the ones appointed, would not be politicians but technocrats who would be appointed based on their qualifications, experience and expertise.

Meanwhile, Amie Bojang-Sissoho has been appointed director of press and public relations at the Office of the President.

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