QUESTION OF THE DAY
The exchanges which border verbal confrontation has compelled the paper to publish the code of conduct of various political parties in the country for onward transmission to the readers. The following constitutes the organisational principles of PDOIS contained in its Constitution:
Guarantee of Freedom of Expression within the Party
PDOIS aspires to provide a democratic leadership. It intends to provide all avenues for the Gambian people to air out their views as well as to create mass movements to combat abuse of authority and corrupt practices.
Hence in PDOIS’ internal Party life, the members of the Party will be free to express their views and criticize all actions that are inimical to the pursuit of liberty, dignity and prosperity.
Guarantee of Equal Participation in Decision Making
PDOIS aspires to ensure mass participation in the administrative life of society. It intends to guarantee the rights of all Gambians to elect or stand for elections.
Hence in PDOIS’ internal Party life its members are equal. Posts are mere division of labour. No superior or inferior status will be attached to a post. The rights of all members to elect or be elected to any post will be guaranteed. A member of each Party organ shall have the right to participate in the decision making process of any Party organ on the basis of one person one voice. No decision will be made in any Party organ without the will of the majority being expressed.
Guarantee of Equal Participation and Free Will in Decision Making
PDOIS aspires to build a society where the people will be free to express their will to determine their manner of government.
Hence, in PDOIS’ internal Party life, all members will be protected to express their will freely without intimidation or inducement.
Hence, (a) Voting in all Party organs will be by secret ballot in order to free the person from any form of pressure.
(b) The chairperson of any session held by any Party organ will give equal recognition to all participants on the basis of the first hand up the first to speak.
(c) There will be no casting vote. The chairperson of each session will have the right to vote in secret like everybody else.
Promotion of Maturity, Seriousness and Discipline in Decision Making
PDOIS intends to build a society where representatives will dwell on issues of relevance and concern to the lives of the people; a society where representative institutions shall not be talking shops where representatives whistle and shout down on their opponents or create disturbances, but would be centres for intelligent debates and discussions under a climate of respect and tolerance.
Hence, in PDOIS’ internal Party life, members must display such respect and tolerance in discussions.
To prevent disorderly behaviour, each participant at a meeting held by any Party organ shall have the right to call on the chairperson to call a speaker to order on the following grounds:
- (a) If the speaker uses offensive or insulting language;
(b) If the speaker is grossly disorderly;
(c) If the speaker dwells on irrelevant issues or engages in repetition.
- A participant in any meeting of any Party organ will have the right to interrupt a speaker to raise a point of clarification by directing his or her concern to the chairperson.
3 Any participant in any meeting of any Party organ will have the right to call another participant to order if he or she interrupts a speaker in violation of the rules by directing his or her concern to the chairperson.
- A criticism and self- criticism session will be part of the agenda of every meeting convened by any organ of the Party.
The Party as an instrument of political leadership
PDOIS aims to build a society where political parties will be instruments of leadership; where the people will not be owned or controlled by any party; where the people shall be non-partisan and free to consider representatives of political parties and elect those who have enlisted their confidence.
Therefore, PDOIS aims to be an instrument of political leadership. As an instrument of political leadership, it must be an embodiment of the clarity necessary to know how to build a society that could address the material, intellectual and cultural requirements of the people.
Therefore, PDOIS members must strive to know national and world history, grasp the science of the development of society and the laws governing nature, follow current events in order to be thoroughly conversant with issues of national and international importance. PDOIS members must know that the role of leadership can only be fulfilled by those who see further than those they seek to lead.
The Party as an instrument of service
PDOIS aims to build a country where the government will be an instrument for rendering public service. Such a government has to be controlled by and accountable to the people. Such a government must be incorruptible. This presupposes the eradication of a parasitic bureaucracy. PDOIS intends to establish such a government.
Therefore, PDOIS will be an instrument of public service. PDOIS members will begin to cultivate the way of life and method of work that is the direct opposite of the parasitic bureaucrat or administrator who is pompous, arrogant, unconcerned, extravagant and prone to corruption.
A PDOIS member will start by rendering more services to the Party than the Party can reward him or her in return. In this way, the person will be prepared to give more to the nation than the nation can reward him or her.
A PDOIS member will be a humble servant of the people. She or he must shun extravagance. She or he will not receive any gifts from the masses for services rendered or for any purpose. She or he will cherish simplicity that goes along with honest living. She or he will not be self righteous, intolerant to criticism and judgmental. She or he will be quick in identifying the faults in himself or herself as he or she is quick to point out the faults of others. He or she will be good in accepting criticism and shall be enthusiastic and quick in correcting them.
A PDOIS member will never be arrogant or subservient. She or he will possess dignified humility. He or she will command respect and will demonstrate respect for others. She or he will not wish to dominate or be dominated.
The Party as a depository of the collective Will of the People
PDOIS aims to build a country where any government will be determined by the will of the people and revocable by them. Such a country therefore will not condone the establishment of constitutional guarantees for the continuity of any political leadership.
Therefore, PDOIS intends to be at the helm of national affairs by enlisting the support and confidence of the people. PDOIS members must conduct themselves to be worthy of trust, love and respect. They will display endurance, enthusiasm and devotion in rendering selfless service to the masses without expecting praise or material gain.
In discussing with the masses, they must strive to convince them with sound reasoning instead of struggling to impose their views on them. In conducting conversations, he or she shall be good at listening to the opinions of others and display maturity in clarifying issues. She or he will strive to be articulate and disciplined in speech and refined and mature in manner to enlist the love and admiration of the people. It is only in this way that PDOIS will be able to enlist collective trust and confidence so as to be charged by the collective will to lead.
The Party as a Source of Emulation and Inspiration
PDOIS aims to build a county whose representatives shall be worthy of emulation, a country whose leaders will be able to inspire the people because of their discipline and devotion to the national interest.
Hence, a PDOIS member will exercise the highest level of discipline. Such discipline presupposes the performance of tasks as they should be performed and when they should be performed. It means performing of tasks with enthusiasm and diligence. It entails taking the initiative to volunteer to do things that ought to be done instead of waiting for instructions. It means refusal to engage in futile discussions, be argumentative, utilize foul language and make jokes that degrade another human being. It means not consuming intoxicants or engaging in an exploitative and irresponsible relation with a member of the opposite sex. It means the ability to exercise total self-control. It means the ability to direct one’s life to do what is of use to the community. It means the measuring of tasks before assuming them and the acceptance of responsibilities that one can shoulder. It means not making promises that cannot be fulfilled. It means refraining from any action that is likely to degrade one or the integrity of the Party.