Fri, Nov 26, 2004 - Page 3 News List

CEC allows ad accusing it of bias against pan-blues

By Joy Su  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Central Election Commission (CEC) yesterday approved a pan-blue campaign commercial accusing the CEC of being biased. The commercial survived a review of campaign material by the CEC and is slated to be aired next month.

"The content of the campaign commercials is a matter of freedom of speech. The ads are fine, as long as they do not violate Article 54 of the Public Officials Election and Recall Law (公職人員選舉罷免法) or the Radio and Television Law (廣播電視法)," CEC member Chi Jeen-nan (紀鎮南) said.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) campaign advertisement in question claims that the CEC had crossed legal boundaries and that its decisions were "not neutral and were unfair." It also accuses President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of obtaining political power by unlawful means.

Article 54 of the Election and Recall Law stipulates that a political party or candidate must refrain from inciting the public to "commit offenses against the internal or external security of the state" or "undermine social order by rioting."

Article 21 of the Radio and Television Law contains similar stipulations, but includes regulations against programs that "spread rumors or false information or mislead the public." Article 22 bars programs that comment on legal cases under investigation or that are sub judice. The CEC is a co-defendant in the pan-blue camp's lawsuit contesting the result of the March 20 presidential election. The lawsuit has yet to be resolved.

While it had been rumored that the ad would not be allowed as a result of its criticism of the CEC, Chi said yesterday that the review of the campaign material found it to be objective and neutral and in accordance with legal parameters.

The CEC also approved all television advertisements sent in for review by the Democratic Progressive Party, Taiwan Solidarity Union, People First Party and the Nonpartisan Solidarity Union.

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