The statement ‘power intoxicates and absolute power intoxicates absolutely’ could be likened to the present situation in Gambia with president Adama Barrow refusing to step down after three years in office as initially promised.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets in Gambia’s capital Banjul on Monday demanding that President Barrow respect his pledge to quit after three years in office.
The president, a relative unknown at the time, defeated former autocrat Yahya Jammeh in elections in the tiny West African state in 2016.
He promised to rule for three years before stepping down, but he has since said he will govern until 2021, serving a full presidential term.
On Monday, some 10 000 Gambians of all ages marched in the capital in protest at the U-turn, chanting “Three years, three years!” to the rhythm of Bob Marley music.
According to the founding charter of Barrow’s ruling coalition, the president was meant to lead a provisional government for three years and then call elections, and not stand.
However in March, Barrow said “we will go to the elections in 2021 and I will hand over power with dignity to whoever wins,” according to local press.