Most Gambians are quite confused as to why President Adama Barrow should decide to swear in a “Caretaker” cabinet instead of a new cabinet to begin his second term in office, as everyone had expected.
Of course, as far as I know, there is no constitutional provision preventing him from doing that, however, it is hard for many people to understand the rationale for such a decision when he had more than two weeks before being sworn-in to work on a new cabinet, even if he had to re-appoint the whole team, so be it. What is responsible for the delay in appointing a new cabinet?
The answer, according to some political analysts, is a political strategy aimed at keeping his fragile alliance together for the National Assembly elections. We have all seen the very long queue that had lined behind him during the run up to the presidential elections and it is quite obvious that the vast majority of those people are expecting to be rewarded for helping him win the elections. He is however quite aware that he cannot meet all their expectations and therefore, if he goes ahead to appoint his cabinet before the legislative elections, there is a possibility that some of his highly expectant allies would become angry for not being included in the cabinet and they may campaign against the NPP during the elections.
Therefore, if he can delay the appointment of a new cabinet, that will help keep his allies in suspense and after the elections when he succeeds in getting the victory he expects, even if they get angry with him for by-passing them in his cabinet appointments, there is not much they can do about it apart from just brooding over their predicament.
Therefore, the appointment of a “Caretaker” cabinet is a political strategy for President Barrow’s own political expediency rather being done in the national interest.