Central Election Commission voted today in principle, with only four votes, the proposition of the Democratic Party members in the Media Monitoring Board to oblige TV stations to accept premade videos of political candidates for the local elections.
The Commission took under consideration, without the presence of the Media Monitoring Board, the proposition of the four majority members for the campaign transmission in Radio and Televisions.
CEC discussed the decision in principle, before issuing a formal order, for not adding pressure to the media.
Strong debates took place, discussing if it was within the board competences to propose regulations not provided by the law.
By the end, the initial seven point project was reduced to two points. The first point provides that from now on, it is the parties who decide the broadcasting time of their candidate within the party’s broadcasting time. It is the Socialist or Democratic Party who will tell TV stations how they will divide their broadcasting time between the party leader and the candidate. The second point provides that if TV stations will not be able to cover the campaign with their own resources, the TV station will broadcast materials provided by the political parties.
This was exactly the controversy point, because the TV stations that have not been able to follow the candidate activities remain unknown, since it is the candidate himself who does not notify the TV stations and refuses the media presence in these activities.
After this decision, Top Channel declares that has never been against. On the contrary, this TV station has always been ready to broadcast any activity of the candidates and their respective political parties. For this reason, Top Channel has officially requested their agenda, to cover it with its journalists and corresponding reporters.
Top Channel, as several other main televisions, declared that will not accept only video materials edited by the political forces or their candidates, in respect of the professionalism, the media freedom, and the obligation to inform the public impartially on the election campaign, fulfilling this way a strong recommendation of OSCE ODIHR after central elections of 2009.
This decision was greeted these days by the OSCE ambassador, Wollfarth, but also by other important ambassadors.