Stringent regulation of media during General Election - NEC Chairman | Daily News


Stringent regulation of media during General Election - NEC Chairman

The Election Commission will impose stringent regulation for the media during the forthcoming General Election than was done during previous elections, National Election Commission (NEC) Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said.

Speaking at the March 12 Movement revisiting the nominations criteria held at the Bandaranaike International Memorial Hall (BMICH) yesterday, he highlighted the fact that the media must be monitored and regulated in the election season as it plays a vital role in deciding the winning party.

“Even though the March 12 Movement is issuing criteria to be considered when granting candidacy for the parliamentary elections if certain media institutions are supporting a party it will gain victory irrespective of any other criteria or policies.  When the media institutions promote a certain symbol, masses vote for that. Then after, candidates those who even obtain lower number of votes also get the chance of entering the parliament” he said.

Moreover he said it is the media that manipulates the minds of the masses. “Media creates the opinion of the leaders of each party in the minds of the masses. If the March 12 Movement is urging the media to transmit accurate information and impartial reporting the situation would turn better. Through that people will use their general knowledge to elect candidates.

He also added that the Election Commission held discussions with politicians and party secretaries regarding regulating the media. And also said that the Election Commission is planning to hold discussions with the Attorney General to understand the stance of the judicial regarding the issue. “A media committee holding media executives is established by now; accordingly we had discussions with electronic media as the preliminary step. When we took steps to control private media it was lapsed by the 19th constitutional Amendment and it was taken out from the law book”

Furthermore he said that the media is responsible in raising the voice on behalf of the Election Commission as the commission is in an oppressed situation. “There is lack of time to bring certain laws at this stage. We are facing a difficult situation at this election. 14 days will be already gone as seven days for nominations and the other seven for the New Year vacation. Although we are facing a pressurized situation that does not mean we are not functioning” he added.

Former Speaker Karu Jaysuriya expressing his ideas at the event said that general public is longing for a fair election and appropriate candidates for a clean parliament, thereby the power too lies with the masses. “Firstly, Party leaders must put forward clean characters. The Election system also must be subjected to several changes. Currently the Election Commission is playing a vital role to maintain fair elections. Adding to that several laws must be implemented on election financial management” He added that several positive energies and criteria are transmitted to the public through Movements like March 12 and masses are responsible to vote sensibly.

International Co-operation State Minister Susil Premajayantha also speaking at the event said that candidates those who secure democracy within the country must be elected by the masses. “In my case I had an idea that I should enter politics through an educational background. By now people are in that opinion. Hopefully a difference can be observed in the upcoming election” he said.

Former MP Sunil Hadunneththi also said that it is agonizing to recall that even though March 12 Movement is presenting criteria for clean politics it has not shown any positive impact on the society for the last five years. “It is really a hard task to choose candidates with clean backgrounds. Even though we try to create such politicians it has become in vain”

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