Andrei Bastunets Takes Part in Media Supervisory Council

25.08.2016 Source: Press service of BAJ

BAJ chairperson Andrei Bastunets took part in a session of the Media Supervisory Council, a public body designed to handle media issues during electoral campaigning.

This is the first time that Andrei Bastunets has been included into the Council, which bears advisory functions and complements the work of the Central Electoral Commission.

The Council considered the complaint lodged by a candidate Siarhei Trafimchyk in constituency No60, Shchuchyn, against several local state mass media.

According to the complaint, newspapers Zara na Niomanam, Hrodzenskaya Prauda and Dziannitsa published articles about the chairperson of the regional organization of Valery Sauko, the Belarusian Trade Union of state organizations and others. The articles had information about pickets, held to collect ballot-access signatures for Valery Sauko. Also, there were two interviews with him as the chair of the trade union; the interviews related to 60th anniversary of the trade union.

Siarhei Trafimchyk asked to give assessment of the articles and to issue recommendations to editors of the media reminding that they have to observe the rule of equal opportunities for all candidates.

Having discussed the issue, the Council concluded that:

- The electoral law was not violated here as the Electoral Code regulates such situations only in relation to registered candidates, whereas the articles were published in the process of nomination of Valery Sauko;

- Nevertheless, a number of publications were inappropriate;

- The decision with recommendations will be sent to the editorial offices of the mentioned newspapers.

Andrei Bastunets was informed that the Council had not yet received any other complaints.

Andrei Bastunets found out that the CEC followed the monitoring of BAJ over the electoral campaign in the media. The chairperson of BAJ agreed with Lidziya Yarmoshyna, head of CEC, that BAJ would forward its opinions regarding the coverage of elections in the media.

We remind that two monitoring reports prepared by the Monitoring group of BAJ are available HERE (July 4 - 24) and HERE (July 25 – August 14).