Pearse Doherty TD
Sinn Féin finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty, has written to Virgin Media objecting to a head to head debate between the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael leaders set to take place this Wednesday.
"As Sinn Féin director of elections, I have written to Virgin Media in relation to their decision to hold a head to head debate between the leaders of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, two parties that received less than 50% support in the last election.
"I believe that facilitating a debate in the manner proposed is capable of affecting the outcome of the election by presenting the electorate with a false, binary choice between two parties with virtually the same policies.
"BAI rules acknowledge that broadcasters have a statutory obligation to ensure that all news and current affairs programming is fair, objective and impartial.
"How Virgin Media can justify excluding Sinn Féin and the people we represent from this debate is beyond me.
"There is no substantial difference between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. Their policies are much the same and this can be seen over their past four years in Government together," he said.
He added he was now calling on Virgin Media to make public the criteria applied in reaching this decision.
"They should reverse this decision immediately and have a debate that's actually representative of Irish society," he said.
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