Wednesday 28th February, 2018 – The Opposition United Progressive Party says it has written the management of Antigua and Barbuda Broadcasting Service (ABS) in an effort to secure fair access through media coverage in the lead up to general elections.
A letter dispatched to General Manager Erna-Mae Braithwaite on Tuesday read in part, “As you are aware, the Parliament of Antigua and Barbuda has been dissolved, Writs of Election have been issued, the political campaign has begun and access to the media is mandatory.”
Access to state owned media by opposition parties the UPP contends was ruled as mandatory by the judicial system of Antigua and Barbuda decades ago, once the Writ of Election is issued by the Governor General.
The UPP says it has requested live coverage of the party’s launch this coming Sunday, as well as equal access to paid airtime at the same rates offered to all political parties.
A copy of the station rate sheet as it now stands was requested from the management of ABS so that the necessary arrangements for payment and scheduling can be duly made.
The UPP stated that on the grounds of transparency and accountability, they have requested proof of payment by all political parties procuring services at the State-owned ABS Radio and Television during the 2018 election campaign.