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Media restrictions

Dawn Gibson
Tuesday, April 29, 2014

RESTRICTIONS on media bodies hours prior to the September 17 election include a prohibition of the publication of any election issue, any political parties or any independent candidates, among other restrictions.

This is made clear in section 118 (1) of the Electoral Decree 2014, which states that during the 48-hour period prior to the polling day and on the polling day until the close of polling at all polling stations, it is prohibited for any media organisation to publish, print or broadcast any campaign advertisement, debate, opinion or interview on any election issue or on any political party or candidate.

"During the 48-hour period prior to the polling day and on the polling day until the close of polling at all polling stations, any publication or broadcast by any media organisation relating to the election must obtain the prior approval of the Media Industry Development Authority to ensure compliance with subsection (1)," section 118 (2) reads.

Section 118 (3) adds that MIDA must ensure that all media organisations comply with the provisions of this section.

"If any media organisation contravenes this section, the editor, publisher or the owner of the media organisation (as the case may be) commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years," section 118 (4) concludes.

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