When Coalition 2016 was formed the condition laid down and agreed upon was that whoever became the candidate and won the election that the person will be there for three years to give and add value to the coalition on the historic mission to wiping out self-perpetuating rule on Gambian soil.
For Barrow as Coalition 2016 candidate who won on that platform to actualize the legacy envisioned by the coalition, must now show that “he’s not interested in power and not power hungry”—the only way to leave an example that nobody would question again. Coalition 2106 was created “to make The Gambia an example for the whole world,” and that Barrow should honor that promise to facilitate The Gambia to “enter history with a legacy that no one would be able to beat.”
Coalition 2016 no longer exists as the only thing that is left of it is President Barrow as a symbol. So President Barrow despite being a party to the agreement back in 2016 holds firmly to what he sees as his constitutional right and that is to serve for five years. Yet there are some coalition partners who are bent on going to court to resolve the matter. They cite a manifesto of the coalition which was lodged at the Independent electoral commission as a piece of evidence as well as other signed documents.
This all aside the politics of post the coalition deadline seems to be top priority at the moment. UDP vs. Barrow, the Barrow Youth Movement and its intentions, Senegal and its intention towards the political landscape of the Gambia, the expected emergence of new political parties, the party congresses of 2020 and strange party alliances. 2019 has a story to tell and we will listen.
Since after the election and coming into office of Barrow administration, the coalition did not meet to discuss any agenda for the country, or to discuss the implementation of its program. The coalition is no longer serving as the instrument it was intended for and vividly remembered as “the only element of the coalition which must now be recognized is the president.” Will the president therefore adhere to the agreement of the coalition, and maintain his independence, continue to work in solidarity with its members and consult with civil society for a democratic transformation of The Gambia? I doubt it but time that heals all wound will tell