Friday, October 18, 2019

Should The Media Encourage Fabrication Of News?

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QUESTION OF THE DAY

Interviews conducted with none officials of political parties are beginning to make the news regarding the three or five year mandate of President Barrow.

Mr Ousainou Darboe is known to have said that he is in favour of a five year mandate as provided for by the Constitution. Halifa Sallah is known to have said that giving the Coalition candidate a three year mandate was a tactical initiative aimed at bringing all presidential candidates together in 2016 so that they could defeat the incumbent. According to him, the Coalition President would have resigned after three years which is permissible under section 65 of the Constitution. To ensure that there is level ground for multi-party contest, incumbency would have been eliminated by making it a requirement for the Coalition President not to participate in subsequent election or support any candidate.

He had made it categorically clear that both resigning to serve a three year mandate under section 65 of the Constitution and continuing to serve a five year mandate under section 63 of the Constitution are constitutional. He had said that nobody should give any excuse for President Barrow. He should decide whether he should honour the three-year mandate or turn his back and serve a five-year mandate. Halifa Sallah said that the choice is his.

The media should not allow others to invent news by giving the impression that a minority or majority coalition views exist. Those who make statements should not be allowed to distort clearly spelt out positions.

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