(Bloomberg) -- Gambian President Adama Barrow pledged to push through a new constitution that would restrict the number of mandates the West African nation’s leader can serve.
“I want the new constitution to be a part of my legacy,” Barrow told journalists in the capital, Banjul, Tuesday. “We will have a new constitution, and we will have a term limit, and an absolute majority,” he said.
Barrow was elected for another five years in a Dec. 4 poll after serving a term in office. The election took place ahead of the approval of a new constitution that’s expected to limit Gambian presidents to two mandates. Barrow’s predecessor, Yahya Jammeh, ruled the country for 22 years. Before Jammeh, Gambia’s first president, Dawda Jawara, ran the coastal nation for 24 years.
The proposed constitution would also move Gambia away from a simple majority system where the candidate winning the most votes secures the presidency, with no minimum threshold.
In a bid to consolidate political power, Barrow founded the National People’s Party in January and forged a coalition with Jammeh’s Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction party in September. The following month Jammeh, defeated in 2016 elections, said he opposed the deal.
The move still raised concerns that Jammeh could avoid prosecution, despite the creation of a commission to demand justice for atrocities committed under his rule. The former leader claimed to be able to cure AIDS and infertility, and bought on Gambia’s international isolation by pledging to kill homosexuals, silencing dissent and withdrawing from the Commonwealth.
“One thing we can assure you is that there will be justice,” Barrow said. “There will be reconciliation and there will be reparations.”
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