Misleading Advertisements: Violation of Section 144 of Electoral Decree 2014

September 11, 2014

 

The Chief Executive Officer

Fiji Broadcasting Corporation

SUVA

ATTN: Mr Riyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Dear Sir

Misleading Advertisements: –

Violation of Section 144 of Electoral Decree 2014

 

On Friday 5 September 2014, we filed a complaint with the Electoral Commission about the Fiji First political campaign advertisement being aired on FBC TV that depicts the National Federation Party as liars, without providing any factual basis for the statement under “SODELPA, N.F.P. and Others. Don’t Vote for Liars”.

(See https//www.youtube.com/watch?v=EilNH3soe6w&features=youtu.be).

Yesterday we were alerted to a similar political advertisement being aired on the same TV Station, as well as Radio Fiji Two, now accusing the party leader, Mr Biman Prasad of making untrue statements. Some are also airing on Radio Fiji Two questioning Professor Prasad’s credentials and misleading voters that he will raise income tax. THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE LIE. None of the Fiji First advertisements attacking the NFP are based on facts. This is also a breach of the Media Industry Development Authority Decree.

Such political advertisements that have been aired on FBC TV and Radio, which are defamatory against our party leader and candidates in the September elections and calculated to mislead or deceive Fiji voters and influence them relation to the casting of their votes.

Section 144(4)(a)  of the Electoral Decree 2014 states, “Any person who at any time between the announcement of the date of the election and the close of the poll in any election, prints, publishes, broadcasts or distributes, or causes, permits or authorises to be printed, published, broadcast or distributed, any matter or thing that is likely to mislead or deceive a voter in relation to the casting of a vote”; ….

“…commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years, or both”.

We hereby give you notice that unless you cease from airing the above advertisements on your TV channels immediately, in any event by end of business day today (i.e. 4.30pm) 11 September, 2014, failing which we will file a complaint with the police under section 144 of the Electoral Decree 2014.

We look forward to hearing from you the decision you make at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely

 

……………………………..

Kamal Iyer

General Secretary