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President Jagdeo says……shows reluctance to withdraw political interference — CorbinHead of State, President Bharrat Jagdeo, during a recent press briefing, confirmed that the recent ruling as it relates to the issuance of television licences to Lindeners Norman Chapman and Mortimer Yearwood will be challenged.President Bharrat JagdeoThe President’s statement has prompted a response from Opposition Leader Robert Corbin, who said that it clearly illustrates the unwillingness of the Administration to remove political consideration from the issuance of radio or television licences.Chief Justice (ag) Ian Chang,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, in a High Court ruling last December, ordered that the National Frequency Management Unit (NFMU) speedily grant broadcast licences to those who want to broadcast in Linden and Region Ten.Chang ruled that the rights of citizens under Article 146 of the Constitution cannot be abridged based on an agreement made between President Bharrat Jagdeo and Opposition Leader Robert Corbin.In 2003, the two, by means of a signed communiqué, had agreed that no new licences would be granted unless broadcast legislation has been enacted.Chapman and Yearwood had moved to the High Court, prior to the 2006 General Elections, claiming that their fundamental rights were being breached by their not being able to have radio or TV broadcasts other than from state-owned radio and television.Yearwood had applied to the NFMU for a TV and radio licence,Wholesale NBA Jerseys China, because of the obvious need in Linden for an extension in electronic media services.However, in response to his application,Cheap China Jerseys, the Managing Director of the NFMU, Valmiki Singh, had informed him that his application would be placed on file and would come up for consideration at such point as sufficient progress would have been made with respect to the enactment of broadcast legislation in the area of the reform and modernisation of the telecommunications sector.Robert CorbinSingh said both the legislation and the telecommunications modernisation project would set out guidelines for the granting of licences, including details such as frequencies and channels to be assigned,Cheap NFL Jerseys, geographic locations, power of transmitters,Cheap Soccer Jerseys China, and the broadcasting standards to be used. Singh said that failure to resolve these matters before the issue of new licences could result in serious technical difficulties and inefficient usage of the electromagnetic spectrum.The Chief Justice ruled that to deny the granting of new licences under the claims by the NFMU was a violation of Article 146 of the Constitution, which states that “No person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, that is to say,Cheap Jerseys USA, freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive ideas and information without interference, freedom to communicate ideas and information without interference, and freedom from interference with his correspondence.”It was only recently that the Government side of the National Assembly defeated a motion by Alliance For Change (AFC) Vice Chair Sheila Holder, which sought to have private television station owners relay their signals into the mining town of Linden.Leader of the main opposition party, the PNCR’s Robert Corbin, who signed a communiqué freezing the issuance of licenses in May 2003, said the legislation should have come four months after that signing.During that debate, Presidential Advisor and Member of Parliament Gail Teixeira had told the House that the Administration was willing to look away from the communiqué and commence the issuance of licences.This prompted an expression of alarm from Corbin.His concern was with the fact that Government would now seek to distance itself from the communiqué signed between him and President Bharrat Jagdeo in 2003, which froze the issuance of licences until legislation was put in place.Corbin added that to be able to issue licences ‘as is’ is exactly what the Government wanted.The communiqué, according to Corbin, sought to assure that there was no political consideration before issuing licences.“That is why there was a restriction…We wanted to remove political discussion in the issuance of licences.”According to Corbin, the freeze on the issuance of licences was supposed to have been for four months, within which the broadcast legislation would have been effected.He emphasised that he insisted on the four-month freeze to ensure that the Government did not use the period to issue numerous licences to those it preferred, hence transforming the broadcast authority into “a rubber stamp”.“They will get their supporters and those who will carry the political line…to grant licences to.”
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