NMS concerned about Election Commission’s warning to media

Kathmandu, November 30

Nepal Media Society today said its attention was drawn to the Election Commission’s recent warning against publication or broadcast of political advertisements.

“The EC’s warning that it would initiate action against media for publication or broadcast of political advertisements has worried us,” read a press release signed by NMS Chairperson Puskar Lal Shrestha and general secretary Subhashankar Kandel.

“It is a historical moment when all have to contribute to create an environment favourable to elections and help the country get a political way out,” it added.

The media fraternity also maintained that political parties launched their election campaign on their own terms and take ownership of it. “Media help the readers and audience know the facts by publishing or broadcasting news and information. Political parties use media to publish or broadcast their advertisements during elections. It is the sovereign right of media outlets to publish or broadcast advertisements,” the release said.

“We strongly warn all concerned against any intimidation and pressure on the mainstream media that believe in the people’s right to information, national sovereignty and national unity. No question be raised with respect to the broadcast or publication of advertisements not prohibited by the prevailing laws,” it said.

“Any attempt to discourage the media by any side will not be acceptable,” NMS warned.

The Election Commission had on Tuesday sought clarification from the CPN-UML for publishing advertisements in five national dailies soliciting votes for the party’s candidates. It had also sought clarification from the dailies.