Raj lauds media

THE chairman of the Media Industry Development Authority Ashwin Raj yesterday thanked all media organisations for abiding by Section 118 of the Electoral Decree which stipulates the 48-hour campaigning blackout. In a joint press conference with the Fijian Elections Office yesterday, Mr Raj said it was encouraging to see media outlets doing what was required of them.

“I thank the media for exercising diligence in this regard and the instrumental role that the media will play in ensuring free, fair elections,” he said.

Mr Raj said 450 journalists, local and international, had registered with MIDA and had been accredited by the Fijian Elections Office to cover the election.

He said out of the 450 journalists, 413 were local journalists of which 37 were from the international media.

He said so far there have been no reported cases of “infraction of Section 118 of the Electoral Decree, 2014”.

Mr Raj also said it was encouraging to see that members of the public had been proactive in reporting cases when witnessing a political banner or political party campaigning material still being displayed even after the 48 hours blackout period had started.

The blackout period will continue today until the end of polling tomorrow at 6pm.

Any media organisation found to breach Section 118 of the Electoral Decree the editor, publisher or the owner of the media organisation commits an offence and is subjected to a term of imprisonment not exceeding five years.

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