The Central Electoral Council (JEC) chided and reminded Vox this Wednesday that it cannot exclude any journalist from its actions, a veto it has imposed for years during its rallies and press conferences at its headquarters on representatives of EL PAÍS, the SER OR eldiario.it, as the JEC itself has established in previous rulings on the basis of two Supreme Court rulings in this regard. The Council also responded this Wednesday to a complaint by Vox against the Atresmedia group and the programme the anthill for not having scheduled among its pre-election talks these days one with its leader, Santiago Abascal, as it did this Tuesday with Pedro Sánchez and this Wednesday with the popular Alberto Núñez Feijóo. The JEC notifies Atresmedia without citing any schedule that its coverage of political information during these times it must be “proportional” as established by the electoral law.
What the Central Electoral Council has not yet done is take sides and take sides on the face-to-face debates scheduled for the July 23 election and on the dispute between various media and various parties. No complaints or formal complaints have yet reached the JEC in this regard and, therefore, the matter was not discussed in this Wednesday’s session, nor was the coverage plan envisaged by RTVE for the different parties. The theme could be explored in future meetings, as will be done on Wednesday next week with Sumar’s proposal, which arrived late Tuesday evening, to extend the possibility of being present from eight in the afternoon until ten in the evening to vote at the polling stations. This issue will also be addressed next week.
The aspect that the JEC studied this Wednesday was a letter presented by the PRISA Group —editor of EL PAÍS and SER—, on the veto imposed by Vox on its journalists to cover most of their information activities. The JEC reminds him in its response to previous Vox resolutions of that electoral watchdog, based on specific Supreme Court rulings, which state that no political party can or should exclude a media outlet from its actions.
In March 2021, the high court has already concluded in this sense that Vox therefore discriminated against the media of Grupo PRISA for having considered them “hostile”, which implied an undermining of the “guarantees of transparency and objectivity” that electoral processes must offer . Thus, the judges of the Litigation-Administrative Chamber rejected the appeals filed by the formation of Santiago Abascal against two agreements issued by the JEC following complaints filed by EL PAÍS and SER after receiving an email from Vox in which it was reported that, from then on, the party will not grant accreditation to any PRISA media reporter, either to access its headquarters, or for any act that the party organizes in private spaces. The electoral board evaluated both media’s claims and informed Vox that it could not discriminate against them, a decision the Supreme Court approved.
The Electoral Commission also sends a notice to the Atresmedia group before Vox appeals the program the anthill He hasn’t included one with Santiago Abascal in his pre-election interviews these days. According to the document presented by Vox, by not inviting Abascal to the programme, not only is this party deprived of presenting its points of view to the public, but also, “from the point of view of the citizen, their access to the information necessary to configure the will to decide the vote, which is the basis of our democratic system”.
Vox’s appeal was rejected, inter alia because the JEC believes it has no jurisdiction to specify to any media what type of interviews it should generally introduce into its programmes. What the JEC does is warn Atresmedia, as it does with other media’s plans and coverage, that it must respect the principle of “proportionality”.
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In his resolution, the arbiter of the elections thus recalls the literalness of article 66.2 of the electoral law: “During the electoral period, private broadcasters must respect the principles of pluralism and equality. Likewise, in this period, private television broadcasters must also respect the principles of proportionality and information neutrality in electoral debates and interviews as well as in information relating to the electoral campaign according to the Instructions which, for this purpose, the Electoral College prepares. qualified”.
The controversy over face-to-face debates continues for now within the parties and media that have sued them. For now, the PSOE candidate in the July 23 elections, Pedro Sánchez, and the PP candidate, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, will eventually meet in a single face-to-face on television, initially on July 10 at Atresmedia. The opposition leader’s refusal of all the other proposed meetings forces the prime minister to settle for just one face-to-face. The PP announced this Tuesday that it will only accept a duel in that format, and the PSOE has assured it is willing to take on any proposed debates. Feijóo thus accepts, at least for the moment, a single debate between the two leaders of the six that the Prime Minister came to propose and of the four proposals that both sides had on the table, from Grupo PRISA (editor of EL PAÍS). , RTVE, Atresmedia and Mediaset. The Populars have also proposed to Atresmedia another seven-party electoral appointment with representatives of PSOE, PP, Sumar, Vox, ERC, PNV and Bildu for July 5 which the chain has not confirmed.
The Populars have flatly rejected the possibility of debating on public television and have even entered into open warfare against RTVE because they consider it partisan in favor of the PSOE candidate. The PP’s Deputy Secretary for Institutional Action, Esteban González Pons, set out this Tuesday in a letter addressed to the president of RTVE, Elena Sánchez, his reasons for interrupting those negotiations: “We could not even imagine that the resumption of those failed negotiations , on behalf of the PSOE, would have been carried out by the news head of RTVE”. And he concluded with an attack on the impartiality of RTVE: “We do not trust its neutrality”. The Council and the Corporation of the public body replied to that letter disqualified it as a “prejudiced” and defended its “neutral, independent and plural” character to celebrate its face-to-face meetings.
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