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Ecuador Limits Press Prior to Elections

Article Summary:

Two prominent newspaper associations filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Ecuador’s Code of Democracy, which among other things, regulates the coverage during election periods. The lawsuit specifically refers to an article of the Code that prevents the media from making direct or indirect promotion of any candidate or influence against him.

Original Article Text From La Prensa via Google Translate :

New actions in Ecuador Against Code Regulating Election Information

The NGO Fundamedios and the Ecuadorian Association of Newspaper Publishers (AEDEP) today filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Code of Democracy, in force since Monday, which among other things regulates the coverage during election periods.

The application refers to an article of the Code that prevents the media make direct or indirect promotion of any candidate or influence against him.

Cesar Ricaurte, director of Fundamedios, Diego Cornejo, the AEDEP, along with several teachers at a private university and journalists Juan Carlos Calderon and Cristian Zurita (both critical of the Government) today introduced the proceedings before the Constitutional Court, which responsible for resolving issues relating to the Constitution.

The suit joins two others filed yesterday by the political group Liberty Alliance and the National Union of Journalists (UNP), a guild of journalists and fourth delivered today by the Institutional Renewal Party of National Action (PRIAN), also opposition.

The new rule states that “the media should refrain from direct or indirect promotion, either through reports, special or any other form of message, which would affect for or against a particular candidate, postulate, options preferences, electoral or political thesis. ”

For Ricaurte and Cornejo, this article provides a “prior restraint” the work of journalists during election periods, as indicated in the application.

Therefore, they requested “temporary suspension of the rules challenged” because in his opinion violated the Constitution and international human rights treaties in force in Ecuador.

However, the Government considers that the regulations contained in the Code of Democracy are necessary to prevent the press from becoming a political actor.
“The media have to report, can not make political campaign,” he said recently Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, who has kept a constant pulse with some large private media, which considers a “real power”.

The president also criticized AEDEP Fundamedios and that in its application argue that the reforms threaten freedom of expression and opinion and the right to communication and information.

Also, call the American Convention on Human Rights, which states that “you can not restrict the right of expression by indirect means.”
According AEDEP Fundamedios and it is clear that to prevent the dissemination of information about “particular candidate” promote “misinformation among the public about electoral options.

UNP President Vicente Ordonez said that this “is to stifle the work of journalists at the time of the elections.”

“This is unconstitutional, but it is also a joke to the Ecuadorian people,” said Paco Moncayo meanwhile, Freedom Alliance.

For his part, President of the Constitutional Court, Patricio Pazmino, said receiving demands and AEDEP Fundamedios, and the Prian is healthy that citizens present their objections when they believe that their rights have been violated.

Pazmino said that the causes will be handled in court, but did not say how long it might be a fault in the body.

Link to Original Article:

From La Prensa

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