Cote d’Ivoire: Le Patriote Suspended for three publications

The National Press Council (CNP), agreed at its ninth Special Meeting on October 27,2015 on the suspension for three publications of the paper le Patriote (close to President Alassane Ouattara).

The reason behind the action is that the paper in question published on its front page of the October 27 edition thus:  the results of the presidential elections held on October 25, 2015 with “all trends point to Ouattara being elected as President!/ KKB congratulates ADO/the  RHDP candidate has over 80% of the votes”.

The MFWA correspondent in Cote d’Ivoire reported that the CNP judged the said publication “violates the relevant provisions of the electoral code which stipulates that the Commission in charge of elections must be the first to announce provisional results after elections”.

“The provisional results were not yet announced, it is therefore incongruous and dangerous to make such a hasty declaration”, the CNP statement said.

In doing so, Le Patriote went out of its mandate and hence poses a serious threat to social peace in the ongoing process, said the Ivorian press regulatory body.

The Mayama Publishing and Production Company, publishers of the Le Patriote newspaper, therefore have 30 days beginning from date of notice to appeal to the administrative division of the Supreme Court.

The MFWA is deeply concerned about the spate of suspensions of newspapers in Cote d’Ivoire in recent times. In two weeks, four newspapers and one journalist have been suspended by the CNP over election related publications. We call on all to observe the code regulating reportage on the ongoing electoral process.

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