A few days after the main opposition party declared a boycott of election broadcasts on the Gambia Radio and Television Services, the state broadcaster issued a press statement declaring its readiness “to work with all political parties to ensure equal access to all candidates”.
However, the statement did not make any references to the UDP decision or defend the criticism directed at it.
It merely stated that it has finalised a programme for coverage of the 2021 election in consultation with the IEC, the organiser and referee of the upcoming presidential election.
“During two meetings with representatives of all the candidates in the election, in the presence of IEC officials, the GRTS management outlined a fair and equitable programme for coverage of the election campaign. Each party was allocated 10 minutes of party political broadcast and 20 minutes of campaign highlights. In the presence of party agents, GRTS conducted a ballot of the sequence of broadcasts,” the statement noted.
It stated that in addition to the party political broadcasts and campaign highlights, GRTS reporters accompanying the various presidential candidates, have been filing in regular reports on the engagements and statements of the candidates both in its news bulletins and on radio programmes such as “The Gambia This Morning” and The Gambia Today”.
GRTS clarified that candidates or their parties have not been asked to pay for these broadcasts.