Chances to all candidates to introduce their programmes on TV
Egypt, Politics, 9/30/2000
The State Institutions concerned with holding election started to facilitate measures of elections, in an atmosphere of freedom, to ensure the impartiality through providing just chances for all parties and independents to introduce their electoral program in the media and press.
Minister of Information Safwat Al-Sherif said that the media plan for People's Assembly elections 2000 on Radio and television is based on several axes ; goals and principles.
Foremost among the goals is to realize the wide participation by citizens in the elections and ensure the citizens abandon any negative attitude and adopt a positive attitude and every citizen feels that his vote has a value in shaping the future.
" It is a special and basic responsibility, which can be realized under the full supervision of the judiciary and the guidelines and values which President Hosni Mubarak announced in this connection " The Minister said.
Addressing a news conference Thursday, Al-Sherif said that another goal is to give the various political parties a full chance to acquaint the citizens with their electoral and party programs under which they will contest the People's Assembly elections 2000 and also to give a chance to independent candidates to explain their goals and what they plan for their constituencies.
Safwat Al-Sherif explained at the pre conference the main goals of the media plan for the People Assembly elections. The goals also include informing voters the sites of their polling stations particularly following the substantial amendments introduced in these centers which number 10.718 distributed over 222 main committees and 15,251 auxiliary committees in the three stages of the elections.
This represents a big pressure and calls for acquainting citizens and directing them and broadcasting all directives which facilitate the polling process for citizens.
It is important that the media, radio and television, reflect movement of the Egyptian street and the pulse of the citizens , their hopes and wishes.
It is also important that the media reflect the positive and negative aspects of the elections and the political atmosphere which represents the aspirations of the people and what they expect from their new deputies;
Al-Sherif said at the press conference adding that realization of these goals through the media plan will be achieved on two main tracks to enable political parties to thrash out their electoral programs.
"The various parties have been contracted through the Chairman of the Radio and Television Union and the matter was discussed with them in detail," Al-Sherif said.
Al-Sherif said that there are four main political parties which are represented in the People's Assembly. They are the National Democratic Party (NDP), the new Wafd Party, Al-Tagammu Party and the Nasserite Party.
The parties have been informed of how to present their programs to the masses in the form of making a statement on the party or in the form of dialogues and questions. Each will choose the method to be used to express itself.
Al-Sherif said that the questions have been sent to the parties. They are open questions which give a chance and a greater opportunity for free expression of views .
As regards parties which are not represented in the People's Assembly, Al-Sherif said that they will be given 10 minutes on television and radio.
" This will apply to parties which are listed in the statement of the parties committee at the Shura Council. The Ministry of Interior should inform us that these parties will contest the elections of the People's Assembly 2000" The minister added.
"As regards independent and individual candidates who run for the People's Assembly elections for the first time, there will be a new role in regional channels. First, a list will be published of the candidates in accordance with the names released by the Ministry of Interior and their designation (categories, workers) and the emblem of each of them. This will be repeated more than once on television and the radio in addition to acquainting voters in each constituency of the locations of polling stations to". He said. Make it easy for voters to find the polling stations.
"Mention will be made clearly on television and radio of the timetable of each candidate in his constituency, his name and his electoral emblem and the day, hour and minute on which he plans to meet members of his constituency. If a candidate fails to appear on the fixed date, he will not be given a second chance coverage". He added.
Al-Sherif said the news sector will give a full coverage of all stages of elections. Referring to this sector as having reporters in the various governorates.
"Regional channels will also make an overall and complete coverage. "Any positive or negative development will be presented because it is the right of society to know what happens outside polling stations. There will be no coverage inside polling stations unless the judge in charge gives permission," Al-Sherif said.
"The programs of media figures who nominate themselves in the elections will not be presented. If the candidate is a reader of a news bulletin, he will discontinue to present news and will be barred from any other activity on television or radio". He added.
Sherif said the State Information Service (SIS) will facilitate the work of foreign correspondents. It will set up media centers equipped with the various means of communications (telephone, fax) to facilitate the work of correspondents who will cover the elections.
In order to give a proper image of Egypt with the aim of giving, the SIS will set up a branch site to be devoted to elections on the Internet media a coverage of the electoral process and will make facts known to foreign correspondents.
Al-Sherif said that space channels, the Nile Channel and the specialized news channel will give daily detailed reports on the elections and will host local and foreign personalities.
"Confirmed results of the elections will be broadcast gradually and immediately through the various media channels (radio, television) without awaiting the time of news bulletins," Al-Sherif said.
On the other hand, Minister of Waqfs Dr. Hamdy Zaqzouq decided not to allow any person to use mosques, either governmental or non-governmental in the electoral campaign.
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