Mass media freedoms to increase, information minister says [Archives:2006/986/Local News]

October 2 2006

SANA'A, Sept. 30 ) In an interview with Middle East Newspaper last week, Yemen's Minister of Information Hassan Al-Lawzi stated that he has presidential instructions to raise the ceiling of freedom for all mass media and further, make Aden television a satellite channel very soon.

The ministry also intends to give equal time slots in this channel to political parties and civil society organizations, as well as allow differences of opinion. The new policy declares non-interference in Arab nations' affairs, as well as aims to treat problems in a civilized manner and dispense with insults.

Al-Lawzi further pointed out that Yemeni opposition can attain power only when it presents a positive platform.

According to Al-Lawzi, canceling information ministries in developing countries is baseless because information is a development tool, adding that it's difficult to achieve development without information ministries.

He hoped Arab ministers soon will approve satellite broadcasting standards, but said no one had requested establishing any private channels.

When asked about giving the General People's Congress candidate more time during the electoral campaign, Al-Lawzi maintained that all candidates were given equal time to present their platforms. However, he noted that presidential activities were allotted more time, which doesn't conflict with the Yemeni Constitution.