Alagi Yorro Jallow

(JollofNews) – There are people who may live longer and be able to live at 80 or 85 and they are still not senile. Therefore, I would rather recommend an immediate constitutional amendment that will lower the limit of qualifications for judges, vice-president and president, leave the upper limit open to the population who may judge who is senile or not. And candidates should be old enough to have some experience, but not enough to be suspect of senility.

Former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair has shot down arguments that Africa needs to set a limit to the term of office for its leaders and determine the age range at which people can become President. According to him, age isn’t important in governance but experience is key to be effective as a leader. He emphasized that, the will of the people should be made paramount, therefore whoever the citizens wish to lead them as President should be allowed to lead.

The former PM noted that even though youthful Leaders are more energetic, its essential that Africans choose the best people as Presidents.

“I actually think you should elect the best person whether they are younger or older. With youth can come vigor but with it should be experience. The best is to have vigor and experience. I don’t favor the age limit, I favor the right of the people to decide and they should decide based on the best person, whatever their age, whatever their gender.”

Tony Blair became Prime Minister in 1997 and was leader of United Kingdom at the age of 44years. He was prime Minister for a decade.

Even though he became Prime Minister at a relatively young age, Tony Blair said he isn’t keen on the age factor in leadership.

By Alagi Yorro Jallow

The author is founder and former managing editor of The Independent, the Gambia’s only private newspaper before it was banned by the government in 2005. He was a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy, a 2007 Nieman fellow and is the author of Delayed Democracy: How Press Freedom Collapsed in Gambia published in 2013.