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The Sierra Leone Broadcasting Cooperation (SLBC) has assured all political parties of equal airtime ahead of the November 17 polls.
Speaking at a two-day workshop organized by the SLBC at Hotel Barmoi in Freetown on June 28th, Director General, Elvis Gbanabom Hallowell said all political parties are going to be given equal coverage and opportunities to display their views. He said such was part of the mandate of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation to provide equal access to members of the various political parties to say their opinions and views on issues relating to national politics.
Elvis Gbanabome Hallowell said the Act which established the SLBC is clear on this mandate adding that the corporation has purposed special training guidelines to members of their staff on how to handle elections and electioneering issues professionally to ensure a fair game play.
The Director maintained that the cooperation has decided to give out equal quotas to political parties in order to maintain their neutrality and transparency exhibiting the true reason they were established for to serve as the mouthpiece of the public.
Representatives of various political parties complained that the cooperation has not been clinical enough in discharging it duties fairly as most aired programs fail to give prominence to some activities carried out by political parties that are not in power using the phrase of “the SLBC of today is different than the one of yester years”
Speaking on behalf of the Sierra Leone People’s Party, Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie argued that the SLBC is considered as a mother to all and sundry; therefore it must be seen acting in that direction which is to ensure that they treat each political party fairly as the cooperation was established to serve the public – upon being transformed into a public Broadcaster.
Notable state institutions such as the National Electoral Commission (NEC), the Independent Media Commission (IMC), and Political Party Registration Commission (PPRC), were present at this two-day work shop and delivered solemn speeches on the level of neutrality the cooperation should maintain.
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