5 Nov 2002

Claims of Kiribati government informaton black out on Opposition election candidates

6:37 pm on 5 November 2002

The spokesperson for the Kiribati Opposition Leader, Dr Harry Tong, claims the local media is discriminating against election candidates who do not support the government.

Brian Orme says electioneering is difficult because of an information blackout on government owned newspaper and radio services.

The Kiribati general elections are scheduled for November 29.

Mr Orme says Kiribati's main media services have become government propaganda machines.

"It's an intense buildup to the election and it's a bit volatile, the atmosphere - it's really hard, there's a total news blackout here.The radio station here is government owned, the newspaper is government owned and it's just been utilised for propaganda. There's absolutely nothing about the opposition.."

Brian Orme, spokesperson for the Kiribati Opposition leader.