The Gambian National Assembly on Tuesday scrapped the constitutional age limit on presidential election candidates.
The decision to scrap the age limit on presidential election candidates was reached after new President Adama Barrow faced questions over his deputy’s eligibility due to her age.
Barrow has been overwhelmed in the myriad of criticism following his decision to nominate 68-year old Fatoumata Jallow Tambajang.
This is coming against the backdrop of a constitutional amendment that came into effect 1997, that anyone over 65 be barred from running for Gambia’s highest office.
The constitution further states that the vice-president must fulfill the qualifications required for a president which made Tambajang overage.
Tambajang was last week named women’s minister instead, with a mandate to oversee the vice-presidency.
The constitutional change adopted by parliament Tuesday will have to be approved by Barrow to enter into force — a move that would allow him to name Tambajang officially to the vice-presidency again, according to observers.
Lawmakers also voted to lift the retirement age of judges by five years to 75.
Interior Minister Mai Fatty defended the changes, saying: “It is envisaged that this will facilitate and encourage qualified, competent and experienced Gambians to be appointed as judges of the superior courts or be elected to political office.”
Gambia’s parliament remains dominated by former president’s Yahya Jammeh’s Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction party.