UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: June 30, 301 AP.

Opposition parties lash out with TV campaign

The Opposition parties have unleashed a flurry of advertisements on weekend
television, defying a mutually agreed ban on pre-election campaigning, after
claiming the President is "campaigning" by timing all his major announcements
in the pre-election run-up.

"It is a declaration of war", claimed opposition leader Thomas Kemp after the
President unveiled a "revolutionary" new piece of tax legislation that would
mean communal farmers would pay zero income taxes. The unveiling, said Mr Kemp,
was in direct contravention of the agreed position of the parties not to
campaign before the election due in two weeks.

The Conservative, Cruistian-Democrat and Democratic parties have released, in
what they claim is a "response", a television advertising burst consisting of
three advertisements that focus on one primary theme: the President, despite an
unfettered nine months in power, has achieved nothing.

With a catchy tune based on a pop song from the nineties, the "What has he done
for you lately?" advertisements played four times an hour from 5pm until 11pm
on national television on Friday and Saturday nights. They are also playing at
least once per hour for the rest of the day, providing 42+ playings daily. The
television station claims it was told to reserve the timeslots on Wednesday,
but was not provided with the advertisements until Friday afternoon. Given the
short notice, the campaign has been financially penalised, but, said Mr Kemp,
"it has been worth it".

No detail as to the cost of the campaign has been released, but it is expected
to be in the millions.

Predictably, the government is outraged, with Prime Minister Barth claiming
that the opposition have "broken the rules, and voided the agreement", and that
the "big loser is the voters". He promised that the government would hit back
with its own campaign before the week was over.

President Okarvits also lashed out at the campaign, saying the advertisements
were "unfair".

"The opposition knows very well how much work there is before me to get this
country on its feet, to get it set-up", the President claimed. "Yet, they have
politely and conveniently chosen to ignore the enormous set-up tasks, and
attack me while my hands are largely tied." He vowed to make the nation aware
of the achievements of the government and of his administration.

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)