Campaign blackout in effect
Monday, September 15, 2014
THE blackout on campaigns and media reports on the general election is to allow voters to make up their mind on who they will vote for without undue influence which a campaign, commercial or report have, said the Supervisor of Elections Mohammed Saneem.
“It is due to start at 7.30am tomorrow (today). The blackout period is a blackout on campaigns. It starts at 7.30am and ends at 6.00pm on September 17,” he said.
“During the blackout period, the media should not publish, print or broadcast any campaign advertisements.
“They should not interview or have debates on any election issue nor can there be any interview of any politician or political party.
“Under the decree, MIDA has allowed media to publish election information issued by the Fijian Elections Office.
“Media blackout also applies to social media and on the internet as well.”
For the general election, overseas journalists, including from Australia and New Zealand, have been given accreditation.
Mr Saneem told them if the material they publish can be accessed by people in Fiji, then they too were affected by the blackout period.
“The blackout applies if it is going to be covered in Fiji so as per the accreditation, you agreed to apply and respect the laws of the country.
“We expect everybody to adhere to that.
“If you put it on your website, if its accessible in Fiji, that’s where you fall into the boundaries of jurisdiction.
“You will have to decide how that will work.
“If your broadcast frequencies are in Fiji and are accessible in Fiji, then you will have to be careful about the reporting because there is a blackout period enforced in Fiji,” said Mr Saneem.