APEL monitoring report: The activity of the Audiovisual Council in the local elections of 2023, compliant with the requirements of the new electoral legislation

The activity of the Audiovisual Council in the general local elections of November 5, 2023 was compliant with the requirements of the new electoral legislation, according to a monitoring report carried out by the Electronic Press Association within the project “Strategic development & strengthening of legal and regulatory framework for independent media in Moldova”, implemented with financial support from the IMS (International Media Support).

The activity of the CA is noted in the report, because for the first time, weekly election coverage monitoring reports were developed and publicly presented, which included all the television and sound broadcasting stations to which the CA approved the Declarations of the editorial policy for the coverage of the elections.

The CA met in public meetings whenever necessary, as it is natural to act during election periods. At the same time, the influence of some destabilizing factors was felt in the activity of the CA, an influence generated, mainly, by the questionable quality of some approved Declarations, however, and by an uneven and insufficient understanding of the new electoral legislation.

Most of the reports on the electoral topics on the agenda presented in the CA meetings contained sufficient and pertinent data, analyses, information to be able to debate them and approve predictable decisions in accordance with legal requirements. However, in some reports either irrelevant or confusing information was attested, or insufficient information to elucidate the subject of the report, to facilitate the deliberations and to outline the nature of the decisions. The quality of the content of some reports was largely damaged by the insufficient knowledge of the audiovisual and electoral legislation and the use of a monitoring methodology not exactly adjusted to obtain truly relevant results. In addition, there was a lack of understanding and a uniform approach to the legal norms regarding elections and the media.

Between August 1 and December 1, 2023, APEL experts monitored 19 CA meetings, whose agenda included 31 electoral topics. More details in the report.

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