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IRIS 2018-1:1/16

Spain

The term "Government in exile" banned

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Enric Enrich

Enrich Advocats - Barcelona - Spain

Further to the intervention of the Generalitat de Catalunya (Autonomous Catalan Institution) by the Spanish central government, Carles Puigdemont was dismissed as president of the Generalitat. TV3, the Catalan public broadcaster, independent from the Generalitat, continued to refer to him as "president", and using the expressions "Government in exile" and "exiled ministers" to refer to the ex-president Carles Puigdemont and the four Catalan ex-ministers.

The provincial electoral board of Barcelona has ruled that the use of these terms by TV3 infringes the principle of information neutrality before the Catalan elections on 21 December 2017. It states that "In this context, the expressions used as a journalistic style resource by the professionals of the public chain, insofar as they introduce the concept of 'exile', are not rigorous, may confuse the average viewer and violate the principle of informative neutrality". And this journalistic resource of style, has infringed the electoral law and specifically the principle of informative neutrality, and in the future they must abstain from its use.

References
Junta Electoral Central, Núm. Acuerdo: 123/2017, Sesión JEC: 24/11/2017 ES
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=18792
 
  Central Electoral Commission, No. 123/2017, 24 November 2017