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UDP Expresses Dissatisfaction With IEC’s Public Media Policy

Ousainu Darboe
80
Ousainu Darboe
UDP Leader
By Buba Gagigo
The United Democratic Party (UDP) expressed its dissatisfaction with the commission’s public media policy for the electoral cycle.
“The United Democratic Party looked forward, with great anticipation, to finally and effectively use the very little airtime provided to it on the Public broadcaster. GRTS.
“This is in accordance with the Independent Eectornal Commission’s Media Rules
and other reguations governing the use of public media during the electoral cycle.
“The United Democratic Party, as a responsible and law abiding organisation, has
always subscribed to principles of fair play and all the precepts of democratic
practice. It is our contention, therefore, that political expression protected by the
Constitution of The Gambia and reflected in various legal documents, must be
upheld especially during the political campaign period In this context, it is perplexing to say the least. that the I.E.C would interpret media laws relating to use of G.R.T.S to include stifling of a candidate’s right to revew and criticized the incumbent’s policies, programmes and conduct. This is both impractical and inconceivable in a democratic environment,”  the main opposition party said in the letter on Thursday.
The party alleged that such a move by the electoral commission is not in line with the letter and spirit of the law and relevant regulations; and therefore forfeited its right to use the public.
“The IEC’s denial of the UDP’s right to political expression through the public broadcaster is unacceptable. Therefore, the UDP is not submitting any new content merely to fill airtime on GRTS. The party would rather continue to use other media than to forfeit its right to use the public broadcaster without undue hindrance,” the UDP concluded.

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