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Political Parties Ballot For Free Airtime From GBC
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Registered political parties contesting the 2016 general election have balloted for their position for free airtime on the state television, Ghana Television (GTV) operated by the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC).
The special balloting was organised by GBC last Monday with the help of the National Lottery Authority (NLA).

After the draw, the Democratic People’s Party (DPP) won the slot for the first appearance followed by the Independent People’s Party, while the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the Progressive People’s Party, the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the People’s National Convention (PNC) followed respectively.

The National Democratic Party (NDP) had the eighth slot while the United Front Party (UFP), the United Development System Party, United Renaissance Party (URP), the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Egle Party followed in that manner.

The 14th slot went to All People’s Congress (APC), while the United Love Party, Ghana Freedom Party and United Progressive Party had the 15th, 16th and the 17th positions respectively. 

Reason for the draw

The acting Director General of GBC, Mrs Francisca Ashietey- Odunton said the initiative was to ensure a fair and transparent process in determining who should appear ahead of the other.

“The balloting is a reflection of GBC’s determination to use a fair and impartial method to decide the order of appearance on our programmes,” she added.

She further announced that the station’s political season would begin from July, 1, 2016. 

She added that their unrivalled nationwide radio and TV networks of 15 FM and community radio and six television stations would be offered to registered political parties and presidential candidates to tell their messages to Ghanaians.

Mrs Ashietey-Odunton also said the station’s primary objective of covering political parties and their activities leading to 2016 general election was to provide the public with honest, accurate and factual information.

“This we will do. Impartiality and objectivity is our goal, and GBC would at all times maintain editorial control over all materials to be broadcast,” she assured.

In his welcome address, the Director General of the NLA, Brig. Gen. Martin Ahiaglo, said their decision to support GBC was because they saw the initiative as an important national call aimed at ensuring a level playing field in the elections for all participating parties.

He added that it would deepen the democracy of the country.

Constitutional mandate 

In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Chairman of the Political Broadcasting Committee of GBC, Mr Ebenezer Ampaabeng, said GBC was mandated to give equal access to all registered political parties to inform Ghanaians about their policies and programmes if they were elected into office.

He, therefore, expressed the view that in fulfilment of the above mentioned constitutional mandate, the state needed a criteria for getting the parties to appear on their programmes for free.

According to him, invitations were extended to all the 24 political parties in the country but only 17 of them attended the programme.

He said a two-step process was used to determine who was going to press the button for the placement first. 

He explained that was done in alphabetical order by name to determine which position the parties would take to press the button to pick numbers for the first draw.
Source: Daily Graphic

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