In the Republic of Moldova, we do not have a body responsible for monitoring the print and online media. Therefore, a large part of the inequity in the current election campaign was witnessed on the segment of the press where no one can do anything, Ion Bunduchi, executive director of the Association of Electronic Press APEL, stated in IPN’s public debate “About old and new faults of electoral process 2020 inveigled by the press and old and new faults of the press, unveiled by electoral process”.
According to Ion Bunduchi, a large part of the influenced press is not free and the editorial policy of these media outlets is written by patrons with political interests. Even if the Audiovisual Council asks to submit a statement on the editorial policy in the election campaign – a commitment of the radio and TV stations – no one is penalized if the editorial policy is not respected. On the other hand, a holding that earlier represented a spot in the Moldovan press disappeared.
The APEL expert considers Articles 69 and 70 of the Election Code should be enforced in elections and noted how important it is for the electoral contenders to benefit from equal and nondiscriminatory treatment. “If there are eight electoral contenders, the journalists should ensure a balance when covering their activities, but we see that the mass media focus mainly on four of the eight candidates,” he stated.
As to the electoral debates, the expert said the candidates for President in Moldova are not obliged to take part in them, as in other states, but the President is the leader of all the people and the people are easier reached through screens than on foot. Some of the candidates refuse to take part in debates for fear of spoiling their image.
Ion Bunduchi noted the citizens of this country should keep a close eye so as to see if what the candidates for President promise is feasible. “We see this culture that the ordinary voters should wait for pensions from the President. Evidently, each candidate will promise this they he will be unable to attract voters otherwise. As long as a candidate for President promises pensions, this political culture will remain at the current level,” noted the expert.
The debate “About old and new faults of electoral process 2020 inveigled by the press and old and new faults of the press, unveiled by electoral process” was the sixth installment of the electoral series “We and the President: who elects who, who represents who” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.