‘President’s term cannot start from 2017′
As the debate on the two-term limitation in the draft constitution tantrum is on, a foremost constitutional lawyer has accorded with the cabinet that President Barrow’s first term cannot start from 2017.
The Standard issued he cabinet’s agitation about certain provisions in the draft, among which is the two-term limit which bars President Barrow from running after 2021 election.
Briefing as a panelist on the Paradise TV national exchange of views on the final draft constitution Saturday, Barrister Lamin J Darbo, while pointing what he seen as “too many conflicts” in the final draft constitution, said if Barrow wins next election, then his first term should start from there.
“There is a fundamental issue in the constitution: retroactive application of constitutional provisions. It is in the 1997 constitution Section 102 C. The president’s right to serve as president is vested. In this other constitution also, the same thing. No retroactive application. So the president’s term cannot start from 2017. Whatever you think about it; whatever your views about the president and his government, what we must always do is to ensure that we are fair in our national conversations; ensure that we abide by the rule of law; it is very important. And the rule of law is really scuttled as far as commencing the president’s two-year term from 2017. This of course is a democratic process, but are we assuming that the president is going to win in 2021? Even if that assumption is correct, his term should not start from 2017. That is something we need to look at,” Darbo said.
Barrister Darbo concured that the executive has hold on to the draft longer than required but the agenda of the executive often spoken about is actually lawful.
“Some people say the president should take it the National Assembly; I agree it spent a lot of time with the executive. That is needless. And the executive also has its own agenda but that is legitimate because the executive is a legitimate stakeholder,” he added.