The Ministry of Communications denied a request presented by the Workers’ Party (PT) to have its own open TV channel and radio station.
The request was submitted in June last year and has been under analysis by the ministry since then. On the 26th, the decision was published in the Official Gazette of the Union (DOU) denying the request made by the party.
In the request, the PT argued that “a dedicated communication channel would enable the fulfillment of a constitutional, legal and statutory duty, providing opportunities for political participation beyond the simple act of voting, adopting a true pedagogy of political-partisan participation”.
The party also mentioned the existence of 49 vacant channels and stated that there was no legal restriction that would prevent a political party from operating public radio and TV concessions.
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In a note on which the decision was based, the director of the ministry’s Department of Innovation, Regulation and Inspection, Tawfic Awwad, stated that “there are no political parties holding radio and TV concessions, which gives this request unique contours.”
The document states that there are three possible types of grant: commercial, educational and community — the latter only sound.
For the commercial grant it would be necessary to have a bidding process but, says the note, “there is no bidding process within the scope of the Private Broadcasting Department with an open authorization period, so it would be impossible, therefore, to grant the request” . It would also be necessary to carry out a public selection process in the two other types of broadcasting.
According to the opinion, the legislation is specific to who can operate public concessions and does not include political parties.
In the case of private broadcasting, says the note, the law “brings in its content a comprehensive list of legal entities under public and private law that are authorized to provide private broadcasting services. In this context, even if it is a legal entity under private, political parties are not included in the list listed there, which would also prevent the entity from succeeding in its request.”
Also according to the technical opinion, parties would also not be among those that can carry out educational broadcasting and, in the case of community broadcasting, the legislation “makes it clear that the aforementioned service can only be carried out by non-profit community foundations and associations.”
“In addition”, the text continues, “it is expressly prohibited for the entity providing the service (…) to be subordinate or subject to the management, administration, control, command or guidance of any other entity, through commitments or political-party relations.”
At the time, the party’s Communication Secretary, Jilmar Tatto, attributed the project to a “process of expansion” of the party’s presence in the media.