With a month to go until the presidential election, Mexicans switching on their televisions and radios can hardly avoid the candidates vying to win their votes on July 1st. In a country with more televisions than refrigerators, dominating the airwaves is crucial to being elected. But ownership of the broadcast media is highly concentrated. Most people get their news through free-to-air television, a duopoly shared by Televisa and TV Azteca. Televisa, with about 70% of the audience, is forever associated in the public mind with the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), which ruled Mexico for seven decades until 2000. In 1990 the network’s chief commented that it was “a soldier of the PRI”. Many suspect that the media are still for hire: Reforma, a newspaper, published receipts last month suggesting that Enrique Peña Nieto, the PRI’s presidential candidate, during his six years as governor of Mexico state spent about $3m for journalistic “mentions” as well as $90m on public information. Mr Peña says the payments were all for legitimate publicity.
The Cabinet yesterday decided to refer to the public prosecution a suspicious multimillion-dinar deal involving the sale of stocks of an unlisted company between two candidates running in the National Assembly polls. After hearing a report on the deal by Minister of Commerce and Industry Amani Buresli, the Cabinet decided to refer the suspected money laundering deal for a legal probe, an official statement said. The Cabinet also decided to hear another detailed report on the issue next week.
A local newspaper reported a few days ago that the value of the deal was around KD 15 million paid to one of the two candidates who is also an ex-MP and has been involved in the corruption scandal involving 12 other former lawmakers. The report said that the value of the company whose shares were sold did not exceed KD 1 million at best but was still sold for KD 15 million, raising suspicions that it was a case of money laundering or corruption. Local electronic media also reported that the candidate who received the money has decided to delay launching his election media campaign because he believes he will not be allowed to contest the parliamentary elections.
The Duma election media campaign is kicking off. Each of the 7 parties contesting seats in Russia’s lower house of parliament has received one hour of free airtime on four federal channels and four radio stations, including The Voice of Russia. Free printed space has been granted the participants by 12 newspapers and one magazine.
By law, half the airtime is given to debates. The first of these can be heard on November 7. In addition to free air time and newspaper space, parties can have paid-for time in the media.
Kyrgyzstan: Committee to Protect Journalists urges Kyrgyzstan’s Central Election Commission to allow news agencies to participate in the elections coverage | eng.24.kg
The Committee to Protect Journalists urges the Central Election Commission of Kyrgyzstan to allow news agencies to participate in the elections coverage.
“Banning any news media from covering a crucial event such as an election is unbecoming of any country that aspires to be regarded as a democracy,” the Europe and Central Asia program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, Nina Ognianova, told 24.kg news agency commenting on the CEC Decision to deprive local news agencies of an accreditation.