One private television station broke the law on election coverage and another showed political bias, but overall media outlets are generally complying with poll regulations, the National Election Committee announced Wednesday.
A presenter on a Channel 3 entertainment program quoted Hun Sen’s intentions to step down if he lost the election, the NEC said in a summary of its media monitoring during the first 23 days of the campaign. Political announcements in an entertainment slot are forbidden, and the NEC has asked the station not to make further violations.
A local news show on TV Bayon shows footage of a CPP party meeting and pictures of both prime ministers in its opening title sequence. The NEC has asked the station to remove the political footage from the sequence.
NEC monitors noted that only 1.5 percent of airtime on the four private television stations monitored was dedicated to political issues, mainly the CPP and the government.
State television and radio, however, give more time over to election coverage and have done well in giving access to all parties, the media report said.
“In general, the attitude of the public channels is good, even by international standards,” the NEC said. “It is difficult to see how TVK and National Radio could grant access in a more equitable manner.”
That sentiment was echoed by Glenys Kinnock, the European Union’s special representative for Cambodia, impressed by a visit Wednesday to the NEC’s media monitoring center in Phnom Penh.
“Every effort is being made by the NEC to cover all possible difficulties,” she said after being shown the computer center where poll registration details are being collated.
“In many ways it is more rigorous than in Europe.”
Glenys Kinnock is a member of the European Parliament and has been a key election campaigner for Britain’s Labor Party.