Information Ministry Issues Media Ban on Polls

The Ministry of Information issued a statement Tuesday instructing the owners of all media organizations in Cambodia to desist from broadcasting or publishing the results of opinion polls in the five days preceding the July 28 national election. 

The statement, dated Friday and signed by Information Minister Khieu Kanharith, warns media operators to pay “strong attention to the ban in accordance with the regulations and procedures of the upcoming election.”

The CPP has dominated the mass media in the run-up to the election, though the country’s radio and television broadcasters bear the brunt of the warning.

“You must stop the dissemination and live broadcasting in­cluding from foreign radio stations in­formation regarding opinion polls five days before the election,” the statement says, adding that political campaign messages and activities must also cease 24 hours before polling begins on July 28.

Koul Pan­ha, executive director for the watchdog Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia, said the authority for enforcing such a ban lies with the National Election Com­­mittee (NEC), not the Infor­mation Ministry.

“All regulations made for the election must come from the NEC,” he said.

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