PDOIS Slams Coalition Talks

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By Omar Bah

The People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism, PDOIS, a pioneering member of the Coalition 2016, has issued a press release distancing itself from the current Coalition talks, calling on the convener of the meeting to exclude the party from it.

The statement is reproduced below:
“A National conversation on Coalition 2016 has been initiated at Kairaba Hotel. PDOIS has excluded itself from the conversation.
Since 2017, the President has exercised executive authority without the oversight of a coalition. Cabinet composition has been determined without any reference to a coalition agreement. National Assembly and Council Elections have taken place in 2017 and 2018, respectively, without any consideration of a Coalition agreement.

By 2018, parties have held their congresses and have taken major decisions regarding the shaping of the political dispensation of the country without any reference to a Coalition agreement. In this regard, the Bureau of the Central Committee of PDOIS considers it prudent to call on the convener to exclude PDOIS from the current conversation on matters relating to Coalition 2016.
The Media is hereby informed that PDOIS is not part of the conversation and its leadership had already requested the convener not to include it in the conversation.
Edi Jallow
Administrative Secretary”

Meanwhile other coalition members ended a second day of talks at Kairaba Beach hotel, announcing that further talks will be held on Thursday after which any agreement will be forwarded to President Barrow.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, initiator Fatoumata Tambajang disclosed that they have reviewed the controversial MoU and have assigned it to the committee to finalize and distribute it to all the stakeholders ahead of Thursday’s meeting.

“We cannot tell you the conclusion and recommendations of the Thursday’s meeting because we have to communicate to the president, then we will sit with him to review it together as an executive and then reach a unanimous consensus. After that the president and the coalition 2016 executive will make a press statement.

“We had all the parties here except PDOIS. If we have any challenge or issues in the coalition we will try as much as possible to reconcile because this is the moment of reconciliation and it must start with the executive. So like in any institution you can have challenges but with the spirit we are today in this country we would want you to give us to time to work out a consensus with PDOIS,” Tambajang said. She however stated the three-year agreement was not discussed, but promised it will be discussed later. Asked about Barrow’s recent political outings Tambajang said they have no control over that.

“We are focusing on our responsibility on the work and mandate of the national coalition executive. Whatever is happening elsewhere we have no control over that,” she said.
On the president’s claims that he will not consult anybody on how long he should stay in power, she said the coalition agreement is a moral issue but the constitution takes precedence over any document.

“People can make statements at different levels but through dialogue and engagement, they could see another perspective. I am sure if the president feels that he has to continue consulting the executive, there might be another approach or decision,” she concluded.