Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lawyer rubbishes Gambia’s President Kingship campaign

Lawyer Assan Martin
Mr. Assan Martin, a human rights lawyer, has rubbished the ongoing campaign by chiefs in the Gambia to crown president Jammeh as king of the country.
Tribal chieftains in the country are touring the country to rally support for President Yahya Jammeh's coronation.
He said: “If this is to happen, it means we are taking Gambia’s Democracy forty five years back”.
The proponents of Gambia’s independence fought hard against monarchy under colonial rule and succeeded in establishing a nation built on the principles of democracy, rule of law, human rights and good governance.
“It is true that every person protected under the Constitution enjoys the right to free expression, but this does not mean that those in authority should propagate retrogressive ideas which members of the public do not expect from them,” the human rights lawyer said.
He added: “Those in authority should brainstorm on issues that would improve the lives of the people they represent. They are not paid to propagate bankrupt ideas.
 “People who do not have anything to do may imagine having a monarchy in an established democracy. People who have concerns for those that they represent will not even think of propagating this type of idea.”
The Human Rights lawyer explained that the idea of moving from a Republic to a Monarchy is barely heard of in modern times.
Lawyer Martin told Gambians to preserve the legacy of all those that struggled for the Independence of the country.
However the chief of western region of Foni Brefet has said the president Jammeh has brought development to the country and “for that he deserves to be crowned King of The Gambia".
"This is the only way the Gambian people can express our gratitude to a leader who has done a lot for his country,” he said.
 Like many rulers in this part of Africa, Jammeh, 45, came to power in the wake of a coup in 1994. He was elected president two years later, and is currently serving his third elected term in the tiny country surrounded on three sides by Senegal.
If he were crowned king, he could dispense with the formality of elections altogether.


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