The Central Election Commission (CEC) said it has fined seven media groups for violating the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act (總統副總統選舉罷免法) during the presidential election in January.
Chinese Television System, a public media group, was fined NT$200,000 for unfair handling of a televised presidential debate, commission officials said, citing the law.
The TV station did not air a segment of a post-debate news conference in which People First Party Chairman and then-presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜) spoke, the commission’s committee concluded on Tuesday. The other two presidential candidates — President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party — both spoke to the press prior to Soong, but their portions were aired.
Four other TV stations — ERA Communications Co, CtiTV, iSET TV and Eastern Broadcasting Co — and their representatives were each fined NT$500,000 for releasing statistics related to the elections within the 10-day embargo period prior to election day on Jan. 14, the officials said.
In addition, the stations were fined for failing to provide required data during phone-in voting conducted during their programs. The Web site of the Chinese-language China Times and its representative, Lee Yu-sheng (李玉生), were fined NT$500,000 each for mentioning on election day that Ma had a lead of 3 percent to 4 percent, which was also in contravention of the law, the commission said.
A radio station in Greater Kaohsiung and its representative also received a penalty of NT$500,000 each for citing election polls in the run-up to election day.