Clement not pleased with new GBN format

by Linda Straker

  • GBN changes its Tuesday “To-the-Point” programme format
  • Adopting system for a more diversified representation
  • Opposition in parliament deserves to have the hour
  • Clement’s next date for programme will be 23 June 2020

Tobias Clement, Leader of the Opposition is displeased with the decision of the Grenada Broadcasting Network (GBN) to change its Tuesday “To-the-Point” programme on which he speaks, to now share with other groups including the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

“I am now the Leader of the Opposition. Since that programme started years ago, the format to have the opposition speak on Tuesdays was never shared with another grouping, but was the platform for the opposition in parliament,” said Clement when asked about the new structure. “Dr Keith Mitchell never shared it when he was opposition leader. Mr Tillman Thomas never shared it when he was opposition leader. Why should I be sharing it? if it’s an hour dedicated to the opposition in parliament, then I deserve to have the hour.”

He promised to speak with the management of the station to understand the reason behind the decision. Clement was informed via letter that his next date for the programme will be 23 June 2020.

Following the 2013 General Election in which the Dr Keith Mitchell New National Party won with a landslide victory of having all the NNP candidates win the 15 constituencies, there was no elected Opposition in the House of Representatives. The victory was repeated in 2018 following the 13 March General Election.

However, in December 2019, Clement disclosed that he had differences of opinion with the NNP. He resigned as a member of the party and decided to take up the vacant post of Leader of the Opposition. In the absence of an elected opposition, GBN allowed the main opposition NDC which received more than 20,000 votes in the general election to use the Tuesday morning 1-hour platform.

Once Clement received his Instrument of the Appointment in April from Governor General Dame Cecile La Grenade, he began utilising the platform.

Introducing the programme on Tuesday, 16 June, host Blossom Alexis-Welch announced the change in format by disclosing that the station is adopting a system in which there will be a more diversified representation.

“Usually we facilitate Leader of the Opposition, Tobias Clement, but we are expanding the platform as of this morning to included stakeholders such as civil society and political parties to ensure we have a wide cross-section represented here on To-the-Point,” she said. Joseph Andall, the NDC caretaker for St Patrick’s Northwest was the guest.

The GBN is a statutory entity of the Government of Grenada. The government continues to have 40% shares in the station and is represented on the board of the directors by 2 persons.

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