“Equal air time for all parties”, where the loud chants being heard from
members of political parties, activists and concerned citizens protesting in front of the state owned National Communications Network (NCN) yesterday as expression of their frustration at not having equal air time to the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
Protestors from various walks of life, including a 73- year-old wheelchair bound woman clearly protested for “free speech for all” and demanded that their voices be heard.
They posited that during this election season the entire country, especially the rural and hinterland areas should know the facts about all political parties in order to efficiently be able to make an informed decision at the polls.
They noted that NCN is a ‘national’ network and as such should represent the interest of all in a fair and unbiased way
“NCN means National Communications Network and therefore, there should be equal airtime for all and APNU/AFC as one of the major political parties should be given equal airtime as the PPP,” a coalition member said
Political and social activist Freddie Kissoon who was at the forefront of the protest noted, “It’s ironic what this picket demonstrates, the hypocrisy of the Guyana government and the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C)… when Jagdeo observed the elections in Sri-Lanka in his report for Commonwealth, he stated that the ruling party wasn’t giving sufficient coverage to the opposition and the government was using resources for their own narrow electoral campaign… the PPPC campaign headed by Jagdeo is doing exactly the same, there can be no bigger hypocrite in politics than this man.”
Members of the Healing the Nation Theocracy Party (HNTP) called on the Chief Executive Officer of NCN, Molly Hassan to grant them more airtime to educate the public about their party’s strategies for Guyana. “As a politician I believe that we all should be given equal air time, they are giving us one hearing and that is not enough , we are supposed to have more air time… it is very important to express our manifesto to the people, it’s our democratic right”, said Ras Leon Saul, Prime Ministerial candidate of the party.
One protestor made the point that “because NCN has the widest reach in Guyana, only persons in the capital city with access to other television and radio stations would be aware of the utterances of all the parties, whilst those in rural areas with access to only the NCN network will be bombarded with a one sided monopoly being played by the ruling party.”
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