Public must protest govt’s decision to shut down Channel 6 – WPA

The WPA is calling on the public to demonstrate their outrage against government’s one-sided and illogical decision to shut down CNS Channel 6, calling it one of the most brazen acts of government overreach in modern Guyanese history.

“When an elected President can sit as judge, jury and executioner on a matter of public concern, Guyana is in deep political crisis,” the Working People’s Alliance (WPA) said in a press release.

It contends that President Bharrat Jagdeo’s action must be seen as a mockery of all democratic norms and an insult to the other institutions of government. It noted that if Channel 6 proprietor CN Sharma is suspected of violating the law then the proper recourse is to put him before the court.

The party contends that the government’s action is the latest in a series of dictatorial moves by the PPP/C, confirming the view of many Guyanese that “the present government has entered the realm of dictatorship.” The WPA says although the ruling PPP/C was elected via fair elections, it has done everything to subvert democratic norms, including the rule of law and the free dissemination of information. “Political spite is its trademark. It allows no dissent”, it said.

The WPA said the action against Sharma must be seen at two levels; first, it is a direct blow against fair and open electoral competition in an election season.

The group argues that by closing down the station Jagdeo and the PPP “have effectively cut off a most important medium of opposition and independent political communication. This strikes at the heart of the electoral process. It calls into question the very integrity of the pending election.” As others have already stated, there can be no free and fair elections when only the ruling party has the right to deliver its messages via the public media, the release said.

Secondly, the “unilateral and arbitrary decision” denies Sharma and his employees the right to earn a living.

The WPA believes that this regime must be stopped. Accordingly it calls on the public to demonstrate in its numbers its collective outrage. The party says for too long citizens have let fear prevent them from exercising their right to protest and resist government wrongdoing. “Political dictatorship must be resisted and removed. We have no other choice,” the party contends.

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