GONG reports breaches of election silence to DIP

NEWS 16.04.202416:30 0 komentara
Denis Kapetanovic/Pixsell

On Tuesday, the non-governmental organisation GONG reported the Croatian television station HRT to the State Electoral Commission for violating election silence by repeating a current affairs programme. It also asked the DIP for a statement on Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic's participation in the business fair in Mostar. Pročitaj više

“By broadcasting a recording of yesterday’s programme ‘Otvoreno’ in the morning, HRT broke the election silence that began at midnight. The programme was about the final of the election campaign, Andrej Plenkovic‘s statements about Ivan Penava, the publication of the names of the LGBT candidates published by Zagreb Pride and the predictions for the post-election scenario,” wrote the election monitoring NGO GONG on its Facebook profile.

GONG reported the incident to the State Electoral Commission (DIP).

Furthermore, GONG considers the participation of Prime Minister Plenkovic together with Ministers Gordan Grlic-Radman and Damir Habijan at the opening of the International Business Fair in Mostar inappropriate. This is an event that takes place on the day of the election silence in a city where Croats make up almost half of the population, but which is not of crucial importance for Croatia, according to GONG.

Before leaving for Mostar, Plenkovic turned to the DIP, which advised him “to keep his public appearance to a minimum and that the Croatian media should cover it after the election silence,” GONG said, adding, however, that the Bosnian media does not have these restrictions.

“Election silence should apply equally to all election participants and possible exceptions should only be allowed if Croatia could be harmed, which cannot possibly be the case when participating in the opening of such an event,” GONG said, adding that he was waiting for a response from the DIP.

Prime Minister Plenkovic asked the DIP to comment on this previously agreed commitment

Earlier in the day, the government reported on its website that Prime Minister Plenkovic, “respecting the specifics of the rules on election silence, requested an opinion from the DIP regarding the previously undertaken commitment to participate in the International Fair in Mostar. Croatia is a partner country this year. At the 24th edition of the fair last year, the government announced that it would participate in this year’s fair, which will be held for the 25th time. The date for the fair has been confirmed for September 2023. The fair is important for cooperation between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and it is held on a working day when the government necessarily fulfils all its duties and tasks, regardless of the election,” the government said in a statement.

DIP’s response states, among other things: “If participation in a certain public event is necessary due to previously assumed obligations or for other justified reasons, the State Electoral Commission recommends that the candidate’s public appearance at this event be limited to the minimum possible and that the Croatian media cover the said event after the election silence. In accordance with this instruction, Prime Minister Plenkovic will not make any statement to the media in Mostar.

The election silence will last until the polling stations close at 7 pm on Wednesday. During this time, any campaigning by the candidates, persuading voters to vote for a particular list, reporting on the evaluation of the election results, as well as statements and interviews of the candidates are prohibited.

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