Gazettes to regulate media during polls issued today | Daily News


 

Gazettes to regulate media during polls issued today

Two Extraordinary Gazettes will be issued today on media guidelines and regulations to prevent the misuse of state property during the election period, Election Commission Director Channa P. de Silva said.

Speaking to the Daily News yesterday, he said the two circulars would also be issued to make it necessary to seek prior approval of the Election Commission on appointments, recruitment, and promotions in public institutions and to ensure that public funds are not utilized for political promotional activities.

He said the circulars and gazettes have already been prepared and would be published shortly.

The Gazette will prevent the use of any movable or immovable property belonging to the State, any State Corporation or Statutory boards for the purpose of promotion or in prejudice of the election of any candidate of any political party or independent group or using such properties in a manner that would obstruct the conduct of the election.

The Media Guidelines made by the Election Commission stipulate that every media institution should provide accurate, balanced and impartial information in their news bulletins and any other programme relating to political matters.

The guidelines also directs all the media to be neutral and impartial in their reporting of matters relating to an election and not to discriminate any contesting political party, independent group or a candidate or confer special benefits to any of them in allocating airtime.

Failure to comply with these guidelines is a punishable offense under the Constitution.

According to the circular of the Election Commission, officers should refrain from making any recruitment, appointment, promotion or transfer in public institutions without the approval of the Election Commission other than those which are directed by the Commissions.

Transfers of public officers or officers of State Corporations should not be carried out on political grounds during the period of election. The Circular also requests all Secretaries of Ministries and Heads of Departments to ensure that public funds are not utilized for political promotional activities.

 


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