NCN has refused to broadcast our Paid Political Programmes

When the PPP/C was in government, the PNC opposed the fact that NCN would not carry their ads nor cover their events. They even voted to remove the subsidy from NCN. Now that the PNC-C is in power, they are refusing to carry our paid programs. The URP executive met with the lower management of the NCN (Ron Robinson was there at the time), concerning the broadcasting of our program – URP Practical Talk. They give us the cost for the program ($35,000 + VAT), the day we will be on (Tuesdays), and the time that the program would be aired (19:30 hours). We were told that we could pay an additional amount ($10,000 + VAT) to have their Berbice station carry our program also. We were very encouraged by this news, as we thought that democracy had returned to the government-owned, public, media houses.
However, our hopes were dashed when we went to pay. We were told that our program request has gotten to senior management and that there was a problem. We were told by a senior manager that, “The players have changed but the game has remained the same!” What we shockingly found out is that the station will not air any program from a non-Coalition party. In essence we were informed that democracy has not returned to the media house and that the public airwaves have not experienced any kind of change. All our prodding and appeals for a democratic approach to the matter fell on deaf ears.
Then we traveled to Linden to see if they would allow us on the government TV station there. Again, they at first told us we can. So we paid the $10,000 for the half-hour program (we have the receipt to prove it). We were given a day (Tuesdays) and a time (19:00 hours). Then the news reached the senior management of NCN in Georgetown and again the suppressive, PPP/C-type mentality, again surfaced. They are also refusing to broadcast our program in Linden. They even have the unconscionable and unethical presumption to ask us to send someone to collect our payment.
Editor, the URP is very disappointed in these latest moves by the NCN management and directors, and by extension, this APNC-AFC government. While we expected the same kind of petty, political, backwardness from the PNC, we were actually hoping that the Granger administration was more magnanimous and ethical than this. We are also appalled that this administration which swept into power with such political goodwill and objectivity, would now stoop so low to practice the same failed policies of the PPP era.
The PPP/C failed to call local government elections, they failed to make certain persons substantive in their positions, they refused to meet with the unions and engage them in collective bargaining, they plundered the coffers of the treasury, they victimized and abused the citizens and sought to stifle their voice. Now this administration has come into power and at first they looked so promising. But after only such a short while, they have been found guilty of many of the same sins of the failed PPP/C.
The Public Service Union and the Teacher Service Union are embroiled in a struggle over their promised pay increases. The parking meters are a national fiasco. The taxi drivers, teachers and average workers, are completely opposed to the exorbitant cost they have to now pay for merely doing their jobs. VAT has now been added to light and water, which will send up the cost of products and services, thereby affecting the poor man. Now the public media houses are again held selfishly hostage by this autocratic government. The citizens of Guyana are at a loss as to what benefits they have derived by voting for the Coalition
Editor, we thought about writing to Prime Minister Nagamootoo or President Granger, however, if the PSU and the TSU with all their hundreds of members cannot make the Coalition do right, we are sure that right is not a priority for them now.
This has led the URP to commit to remaining in the political arena to fight for the average Guyanese. This time we are going all out to make sure that we secure some seats in Parliament. The Guyanese citizens have to put a stop to this crazy winner-take-all madness that obtains in Guyanese politics. The URP is convinced that next time around Guyanese will be sufficiently dissatisfied with the PPP/C and the APNU-AFC and they will give a third party a chance. We are praying that commonsense and patriotism will trump race and party loyalty in 2020.