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Samoa Opposition Leader Wants Media Ban Lifted

APIA, Samoa: Samoa's opposition leader, National Development Party Leader Tuiatua Tupua Tamasese Efi, said the prime minister must formally lift the ban that prohibits him from appearing on government-owned media, Radio Australia's Pacific Beat reports.

The ban has been lifted in practice. However, Efi said Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele must follow court instructions and officially rescind the ban.

Efi said although the government-owned media now were interviewing him regularly, reporters continued to give him a hard time.

"We confront the government media reporters and it's more like a confrontation with Members of Parliament rather than a press conference with the Member of the Opposition and reporters.

"It's quite okay to ask (tough) questions, but there's a difference between asking a question and taking on a fellow as if he were your parliamentary opponent," the opposition leader said.

"But other than that we're getting access now to that which we didn't get before," he added.

Efi acknowledged that the government press would like to have the freedom of private media, but government pressures make that unlikely.

"This ban has been around for 15 years now," he said. "We need to work out some sort of (system) that is acceptable to everybody."

+++niuswire

PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE: http://www.pmw.c2o.org


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