site.btaJournalistic Association: This Election Campaign Offered No Adequate Information
According to the Association of European Journalists-Bulgaria (AEJ-Bulgaria), the outgoing election campaign has failed to provide voters with adequate information about the platforms of the political parties and coalitions running in the April 2 snap general elections. "Real political debate hardly happened, since politicians chose to rely on populism and attacking each other instead," AEJ - Bulgaria said in a position put out Friday.
They say further: "Disinformation was also a serious factor, serving anti-European and anti-democratic purposes. Outright falsities, such as the claim that Bulgarian soldiers were being sent to Ukraine, received wide publicity."
AEJ - Bulgaria argues that President Rumen Radev was "an active player in the election campaign through various statements, which harshly attacked his political opponents".
According to the Association, due to the requirements in the Elections Code, the Bulgarian National Television and Bulgarian National Radio were held hostage to inadequate formats and forced to offer a national platform to marginal politicians with strange and sometimes hate-filled messages. AEJ-Bulgaria believes that it is high time that the Electoral Code got revised and hopes that the next National Assembly will handle this task.
The organization further points out that in the last days of the campaign, two political formations attacked media outlets. One was former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov who lashed out at media outlets for failing to mention that his 2022 arrest was included in a recent US State Department Report on Human Rights as an example of arbitrary arrest. The other was Vazrazhdane which on several occasions attacked journalists for being hostile to them.
The Association calls on all media organizations and journalists to respect the law while being uncompromising towards politicians "who blame the media for their own sins".