The National Solidarity Party has recently lodged an appeal with the president in regard to delays in the processing of the newspaper permit for the party newspaper ‘North Star News’. The paper has been waiting on the processing of the permit since 13 July 2014, when they first filed for their renewal.
The Minister for Communications and Information has not refused their application for a newspaper permit, but further processing has been refused pending the Ministry’s request for additional information from the paper’s Central Executive Committee. The MCI wants all members of the CEC to disclose their salary information, with some members citing a need for privacy as a reason for refusal of the information.
In a release from the NSP regarding the appeal and the refusal to process their permit, the Secretary-General of the NSP stated,
“We are aggrieved that MCI is withholding the Permit from us unless certain individuals, because they hold office as our CEC members, divulge to MCI financial information which is personal and private to such individuals, but which is otherwise not essential or relevant to a proper consideration by MCI of our renewal application.”
The NSP is requesting an appeal to the president as soon as possible, claiming that the ‘North Star News’ is a vital part of their political organization and that its inability to operate will put them at an uneven footing with competing political interests.
Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss, Secretary-General of the NSP continued in the release,
“As a political party, we rely on our party organ, the North Star News to communicate our views and opinions to the electorate. The continuing delay is detrimental to our interests, and the detriment increases with each passing day. The Prime Minister may call for the next General Elections at any time.”
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