Adama Barrow Gambian president announces ex-Jammeh minister as VP pick

She became a controversial figure after telling The Guardian newspaper that Jammeh would be prosecuted for crimes committed by his regime

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Adama Barrow speaking during his swearing in as president of Gambia at the Gambian embassy in Dakar on January 19, 2017 play

Adama Barrow speaking during his swearing in as president of Gambia at the Gambian embassy in Dakar on January 19, 2017

(SENEGALESE PRESIDENCY/AFP/File)
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Gambian President Adama Barrow has chosen a former minister of longtime leader Yahya Jammeh as vice-president, a spokesman said Monday.

Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang is often described as the woman who persuaded The Gambia's divided opposition parties to club together and field a single candidate in the December 1 election which Barrow eventually won.

A former health minister in the early years of ex-leader Jammeh's 22-year rule, Jallow-Tambajang was specifically chosen to correct the gender balance in Barrow's administration, spokesman Halifa Sallah told journalists in announcing her appointment.

"Consideration has been given in terms of balance of the constitution of the cabinet," he said.

She has become a controversial figure in recent weeks after telling The Guardian newspaper that Jammeh would be prosecuted for crimes committed by his regime, an act almost immediately followed by the mercurial president announcing he no longer recognised the election result.

A development expert who previously worked of the United Nations, Jallow-Tambajang has also argued that a national commission for asset recovery should be established.

This would be particularly pertinent given claims by Barrow's team that Jammeh stole $11 million and several luxury vehicles before departing for Equatorial Guinea.

Jammeh also had a female vice-president, Isatou Njie-Saidy, who stayed loyal to him for several years in an administration where defections and unexplained firings were common.

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