Dec 8, 2008, 5:38 AM
Officials connected with the European Union
(EU) yesterday afternoon visited The Point newspaper to discuss the current
political situation, and the scheduled parliamentary elections in The Gambia.
The visiting team was led by Inta Lase, EU press and public outreach media analyst, along with her colleagues, who met with Pap Saine, co-publisher of The Point, the editor-in-chief Osman Kargbo and news editor Modou Sanyang.
The EU team posed several questions surrounding the country’s current electioneering process, and the experiences of the media with regard to the election campaign and the political climate.
The discussion also touched on the president’s ongoing nationwide tour, analyzing its constitutionality and or political campaign connotations.
The performance of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in ensuring that the elections are free and fair was also discussed.
Another issue tabled in the discussion was the constraints media houses grapple with in discharging their duties, especially in election coverage and nationwide tours of the president.
Pap Saine also briefed the EU officials on the history of The Point newspaper and its challenges.
He thanked the EU delegates for the visit, and for coming up with such an initiative of meeting with media chiefs and editors on the aforementioned issues.
The Point’s editor-in-chief Osman Kargbo and news editor Modou Sanyang also said during election campaign periods, “The Point newspaper spends a lot of money on logistics and coverage of political party campaigns, including the ongoing National Assembly election campaigns.
One good thing in the new dispensation is that it has provided conditions whereby not only one party is going to dominate the parliament, unlike under the previous regime, Kargbo said.
“This time around, we are going to see stiff contests among candidates of the various parties, as well as from the independent candidates, which means the winner in any constituency can be any of them, and subsequently the National Assembly can be a make-up of members from various parties or backgrounds,” Kargbo added.