New Gambian leader Barrow's deputy is ex-Jammeh minister

Gambia's new president Adama Barrow. (AFP)
Gambia's new president Adama Barrow. (AFP)

Banjul - Gambian President Adama Barrow has chosen a former minister of President Yahya Jammeh turned architect of his own coalition government as vice-president, a spokesperson said on 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 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, spokesperson 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 for 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 $11m and several luxury vehicles before departing for Equatorial Guinea.

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