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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

First Lady should not declare her assets — Cabinet tells CRC

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By Alagie Manneh

President Barrow’s Cabinet had asked the CRC to “delete” a provision of the draft which demands that the spouse of the president disclose all their assets.
According to the draft, the president shall (a) within three months of assuming office, disclose to the Anti-Corruption Commission – (i) all liabilities and business interests he or she has or that is held on his or her behalf; and (ii) all the assets, liabilities and business interests of his or her spouse held by or on behalf of the spouse…

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However in its position seen by The Standard, Cabinet noted: “While the government recognises the CRC’s noble objectives in this provision, the government is also of the view that it is unfair to subject spouses who are uninterested in politics or public office to be subjected to the same level of public scrutiny as their political spouses simply because of their association to the latter as a spouse.”
Cabinet said this has the potential to violate the right to privacy of the president’s spouse… “on account only of their status as spouse of the seeker of public office”.

Charitable causes
The Cabinet had also asked the CRC to delete the clause which proscribes the president from supporting charitable causes.
“The government is of the view that it is unreasonable to prevent a president from supporting charitable causes.”
It is not an unusual practice around the world and The Gambia should not be exception, Cabinet stressed.
However, none of these provisions has been deleted

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