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Broadcasts OK: NEC

The National Election Committee yesterday released a statement clarifying that all radio stations would be allowed to broadcast during the elections, but reiterating that they could not broadcast any information relating to polls or projected results for the five days before the election, as well as on Election Day itself.

The clarification followed the announcement and near immediate retraction late last month of a Ministry of Information directive that banned foreign radio broadcasts during the entire month of the campaign.

The retraction left in place the narrower six-day directive noted by the NEC yesterday, which also bans the broadcasting of campaign activities on Election Day and the day before.

“To avoid confusion, the NEC wants to clarify to the public that the NEC did not ban the radio from broadcasting about the election,” the statement says. “On the contrary, the NEC encourages all media to broadcast information about the election, to ensure that the election is free and fair.”

NEC secretary-general Tep Nytha said yesterday that all media have the right to choose whether to cover the election. The restrictions apply equally to foreign and local radio broadcasts, he said, adding: “No media should broadcast content favourable toward one side or party. The media have to broadcast neutrally, because we want voters to make the right decision.”

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