Parliament, judiciary must also be held accountable for good governance – Pres. Ali

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As President Dr. Irfaan Ali joined media workers for the observance of World Press Freedom Day on Tuesday, he said an important aspect of the conversation should address good governance.

This, he explained, is not only applicable to the executive (Presidency) of a country but pointed out that the legislature (Parliament) and the judiciary (Court) must also function and be called out when there are lapses in that regard.

“It is not only the executive that forms part of the government, but you also have the judiciary and the legislature and I do not see us addressing the confines and boundaries of all three branches of government,” Dr. Ali said.

The Head of State said good governance can only occur when institutions and systems in the country all agree to conduct themselves within a framework that promotes good governance, which includes accountability and fairness.

“Good governance is not only applicable to the executive of a country; good governance is applicable to the population of a country,” Dr. Ali added while addressing the press freedom conference and symposium at the Arthur Chung Conference Center (ACCC), Liliendaal.

Speaking to the issue of fairness which Dr. Ali said is a characteristic of good governance, the Head of State reasoned that theory and application must go hand in hand.

“Unless we all subscribe to these values then we will not be able to protect these values,” the President added.

Dr. Ali believes that bad governance is only highlighted in the executive sphere of government but he noted that there are lapses in the other branches that are sometimes ignored and never addressed.

The President assured those present that he was in full support of a free press and welcomes criticisms of himself or the government but he emphasised that those criticisms must be balanced and not target the elected executive only.

He also acknowledged the government’s responsibility in protecting the media and the importance of partnerships, particularly since the state needs the media to disseminate information.

“The government in a democracy must be able to protect those who operate with the objectivity, impartiality, and the responsibility and decency in which they carry out their trade. The government has to ensure that they (media workers) are protected and ensure that they are able to practice their profession, that they are respected even when the views are different,” the Head of State said.

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