Maldives Broadcasting Commission (Broadcom) is currently probing into the concealment of the time allotted for each candidate by broadcasters.
In a statement, Broadcom revealed that the commission, on Wednesday, began probing into broadcasters who do not disclose required information on the time allotted for each officially announced presidential candidate as per the regulations after the ratification of the new amendment to the General Elections Act.
The recently ratified amendment to the General Elections Act dictates that all broadcasters must give equal air time to all candidates and prohibit the sale of more air time to candidates.
Prior to the amendment, the Constitution stated that no broadcasters shall under any circumstance give or sell more than 10 percent of the time allotted to one candidate, to one individual candidate or a political party or a candidate representing a political party.
The recently ratified amendment also gives Maldives Broadcasting Commission (Broadcom) the power to penalize any broadcaster that violates the regulations. Upon ratification of the amendment, Broadcom was required to establish regulations to receive complaints and penalize violators of the amendment. Broadcom would also be required to forward all cases to the Elections Commission (EC) after investigation.
Whilst the upcoming presidential elections are slated for September 23, the candidates officially announced in the run for presidency are President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) and opposition coalition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (Ibu).