Both the PLP and the Free National Movement (FNM) owed the Corporation substantial sums of money going back to the General Election of 2017. BUT ONLY THE PLP WAS DENIED ELECTION COVERAGE!!!! WHAT IS THIS? THE GENERAL MANAGER AND DEPUTY GENERAL MUST BE FIRED!!!!!
ZNS STATEMENT| The outgoing Board of Directors of the Broadcasting Corporation of The Bahamas (BCB) takes exception to the recent report presented by the International Election Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) as articulated by the Hon. Bruce Golding.
The BCB categorically denies and refutes the allegation that it deliberately and unfairly adopted a policy of refusing to accept advertisements from the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) during the period of the recent General Election thereby ‘resulting in citizens being deprived of their right to receive balanced
information about the election and candidates’.
The Corporation has throughout the recent election period pursued a policy of fairness and balance.
In order to ensure its continued financial sustainability, the Corporation had implemented, amongst other measures, a vigorous and concerted effort to collect substantial outstanding receivables.
Both the PLP and the Free National Movement (FNM) owed the Corporation substantial sums of money going back to the General Election of 2017.
The decision was made by the Board several months ago, and long before the General Election was called, that no new advertisements (whether paid in advance or not) would be aired for any political party until they first settled their outstanding debts. It was felt that this would be the only way in which to get
such debts settled.
This decision was communicated to the political parties, and both the PLP and the FNM expressed their displeasure with it, but, ultimately, and prior to the General Election being called, the FNM paid off its debt, while the PLP made only one small payment towards reducing its debt of well over $100,000.00.
On the election being called, the PLP offered to make a payment of $75,000.00 towards repayment of its outstanding debt which would have left almost the same amount owing and which it offered to pay over-time. The PLP was informed that, in view of the fact that the FNM had paid off its debt as a pre-condition to new advertisements being accepted, the Corporation could not, in fairness, accept the offer being made.
In order to try to assist and accommodate the PLP, it was agreed that a portion of the debt, which it disputed, would be put aside to be dealt with at a future date thereby reducing the amount of debt to be paid off as a pre-condition to accepting new advertisements. The reduced debt still amounted to over
The PLP then again offered to pay $75,000.00 with the balance to be repaid over time which, again, the Corporation was unable, in the interest of fairness, to accept. It should be pointed out that, notwithstanding that the FNM had indicated its desire to take most, if not all, of the advertising slots during the election period, the Corporation ensured that at least one-third of the slots were reserved for the
PLP on the basis that it would settle its indebtedness.
The Corporation made an offer to the PLP that it would accept the sum of $75,000.00 with the balance (approximately $37,000.00) being divided by the number of slots it wished to take, and the resulting amount to be paid at the same time as payment for each advertisement – so that, on payment of the last
slot, the entire debt would end up being repaid.
The Corporation was subsequently, informed that the PLP would not be advertising with ZNS during the remaining election period. At no time was the Corporation politically motivated in dealing with the
repayment of debts owed to it by the political parties. The decisions made by the Corporation were based entirely on financial considerations and pursued on the basis of fairness.
The Corporation finds it to be disturbing and unacceptable that the OAS Election Observation Mission should have, without first reaching out to the Corporation, utter such disparaging and damaging allegations, and then, astonishingly, to state ‘that it was not possible to determine the veracity of such allegations’ – this cannot be regarded as being balanced or fair.