The Progressive Empowerment Party (PEP) leader Phillip E Alexander said in an exclusive interview with 868 Media that the media has over time become tightly tied to the state and is now a government-funded operation.

“The media in TT have over time become heavily reliant on the government to stay afloat. In fact, the only thing keeping the Guardian, Newsday and Express running is state advertising which is being used to manipulate news as propaganda, turning the entire notion of a free media on its head. Media was created to speak truth to power on behalf of the electorate, not speak the government’s truth to the electorate on behalf of the ruling party.”

Alexander said.

Alexander has been expressing constant woes over the last few weeks about the media’s joint failure to cover his political party. He told 868 Media that the choice taken by the media houses not to cover the PEP is similar or no different to government censorship.

“The combined media have acted against me and the PEP and blocked us from the public in direct violation of the rights enshrined in the Constitution. We have invited them to many a public meeting, have provided them with all our releases, and they have refused to cover. Since when is it the media’s job to decide WHAT people get to know about, and what difference is that to government censorship in banana republics and what is taking place here?”

Alexander on the newly launched Progressive Party

When asked about the new political party (Progressive Party) headed by 27-year-old Nikoli Edwards and the party’s similar name to PEP, Alexander said Edwards by choosing that name “will be remembered as a footstool to other people’s agendas.”

“We believe that the name chosen was a deliberate and underhanded attempt by those using that young man to confuse and deceive the voters.”

Alexander said.

Alexander on possibly uniting PEP with new parties (Patriotic Front & Progressive Party)

PEP is willing to form a joint coalition according to what Alexander said, however, PEP’s policies are “non-negotiable” with any of those such parties.

” We in the Progressive Empowerment Party would work with anyone but our policies are non negotiable.”

Elections?

Alexander said PEP is going to contest all 41 seats in the next general election and for this reason, the party is launching a regional election office in central Trinidad on July 27.

Alexander said he is very confident in his party for the elections.

“The public response has been phenomenal.”