Govt Imposes Tough Advertising Restrictions for Regional Elections

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

SEPTEMBER 15, 2015

Jakarta. Candidates participating in the simultaneous regional elections will only have two weeks to campaign through television and radio advertisements with election officials warning that any promotional activities conducted outside of the allowed time can result in penalties, even disqualification.

The General Elections Commission (KPU), the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu) and the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) have agreed that candidates contesting the Dec. 9 elections, to be staged in hundreds of cities, districts and provinces across the country, can only advertise using the designated media platforms between Nov. 23 and Dec. 5.

Bawaslu member Nasrullah said the three agencies will design a fixed timetable for when the advertisements will appear on television and radio stations, to ensure that all candidates receive equal air time.

Advertising “outside of the time allotted by the KPU, counts as a violation and the maximum sanction is disqualification,” Nasrullah said as quoted by Detik.com.

The KPI will also sanction any TV and radio stations found violating the rule.

The three agencies have been monitoring TV and radio outlets in areas participating in the elections since last month and will continue to do so until after people have cast their votes.

KPU commissioner Ferry Kurnia Rizkiyah said each candidate has the creative freedom to produce their own advertising materials.

“But the duration, the time, placement and so on will be determined,” he said.

It is not clear whether the KPU will implement the same regulation for print and online news portals, which fall under the auspices of the Press Council.

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