In AMAN’s session on impartial official media during electoral campaigns in the Gaza Strip
Central Elections Commission: CEC has the right to stop official broadcast of any media material that includes electoral propaganda of a specific party
Gaza – AMAN Coalition for Integrity and Accountability held a session on impartial official media during electoral campaigns in the Gaza Strip with participation of CEC and Governmental News Office in the Gaza Strip.
The session aimed to reiterate the importance of compliance of state media and publicly funded media with the principles of integrity, neutrality, justice and equal opportunities in their coverage of electoral lists during the electoral campaigns. It underlined that no state logistic or human resources may be used to serve a particular electoral list’s interests.
All candidates have the right to campaigning within the boundaries prescribed in the law
Jameel Al-Khalidi, Regional CEC Director in the Gaza Strip, reiterated that electoral campaigns represent an important election preparation phase. The explained that CEC is exerting full effort to enforce the time schedule of the lections in spite of concerns about its possible postponement. Al-Khalidi pointed out that electoral propaganda is a right to all candidates provided that they respect the time ceilings. They can exercise this right in full freedom regulated by the law. He confirmed that the campaigns shall span the period from 30 April to 20 May and that they must respect CEC procedures and controls, including abstaining from influencing voters, using public spaces or bypassing the $ 1 million funding ceiling. All sources of funding must be local without any interference of foreign entities.
CEC signs an agreement with official media to ensure compliance with the law and impartiality
Al-Khalidi announced in the session that CEC has signed an agreement with official media to ensure it complies with the law and principles of impartiality. He mentioned that CEC has the right to stop any official media broadcast if it contains propaganda for a specific party. CEC is the only official reference for elections-related news. Official media must cover CEC’s activities in the management of the electoral process. Al-Khalidi mentioned that CEC is cooperating with official media to prepare awareness and educational programs on elections and it encourages lists to use the free broadcast time on official media. CEC is preparing the time schedule for free broadcast to cover elections.
Media institutions in the Gaza Strip sign a code of honor to set the ground for election integrity promoting media
The Head of the Government News Office in Gaza, Mr. Salamah Maarof, reiterated the Office’s commitment to the provisions of the law on elections and pointed out that a circular has been issued to comply with integrity principles and guarantees in coverage of elections on governmental media outlets and to set the ground for election integrity promoting media.
Maarouf added that a media code of honor has been prepared and agreed upon with CEC. It was discussed with media outlets in the Gaza Strip, which later on signed it to confirm their compliance with the principles and obligations set forth in this code. Participants in the session reiterated CEC’s oversight role of digital media and social networks platforms as they are the channels that influence most public opinion.