IS MEDIA ACCESS TO CANDIDATES A RIGHT OR PRIVILEGE?

QUESTION OF THE DAY

IS MEDIA ACCESS TO CANDIDATES A RIGHT OR PRIVILEGE?

It is a right. Section 41(d) of the Constitution states:

Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, an Act of the National Assembly …. may provide for – equal access to public facilities and the media by candidates at public elections.”

Furthermore section 93(1) of the Elections Act stipulates:

“The  Commission  shall,  during  an election  campaign  period, ensure  that equal  air time is given to each candidate  and  political  party on the public  radio and television.”

This confirms that IEC has power to order GRTS to give equal air time to candidates.