AFC calls for assessment of media environment

Concerned by what it has termed the “rabid political partisanship being undertaken by the state and government-supported media,” the AFC yesterday urged that the Guyana Elections Commission Media Moni-toring Unit offer reports assessing the media environment in the country.

This, the party contended, should be aimed at pushing what needs to be encouraged in local electoral journalism and censuring—without fear or favour—that which needs to be censured.

The AFC pointed to the “banning of journalists from press conferences”, the “abuse of state media towards partisan ends”, “collaboration with state and private media entities to push a partisan line,” to limit the independence of the media in Guyana.

The party, in a press statement, described as “sinister” a trend by the state-owned and government-supported media targeted at the opposition in general and specifically against the AFC. “On the one hand we find, for example, the Guyana Times/Guyana Chronicle collusion in peddling the myth of a leadership crisis in the Alliance, even as the PPP has failed to select a prime ministerial candidate weeks away from a national elections,” the party said.

The AFC took offence to an article carried on Sunday by the Guyana Times under the caption “leadership crisis looms in AFC as Trotman returns. The article resulted from Saturday’s announcement that Raphael Trotman would be the AFC’s prime ministerial candidate. “The AFC fails to see the connection between the meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and WikiLeaks revelations but it is delighted that the PPP has indeed been reading them,” the party stated. “The AFC submits that in functional, normal and workable democracies, the recent WikiLeaks revelations would have been sufficiently damning materials for ministers to resign and for governments to be voted out,” it added. “In no functional democracy would a presidential candidate say that he is slightly amused by them,” the AFC said.

“An important outcome of the WikiLeaks revelations,” the AFC said, is the establishment, “beyond all doubt, that this PPP administration has been linked to the Roger Khan death squad”. Further the AFC said that “the present posturing and attitude of this government pretending as if none of this happened is shameful and can only occur in a society in which issues have not served as the criteria for the election of governments.”

The AFC noted that this is a situation where a sitting government has breached with impunity the law of the land.

The AFC challenged NCN, Chronicle and the Guyana Times to publish the names of the other countries which have had both their commissioner of police and the minister of home affairs visas revoked by key nations of the free world.

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