publishers protested proposed new restrictions on the press when Ethiopian
Election Board Chairman Merga Bekana unveiled a draft code of conduct for
coverage of the May 23 national elections.
journalists charge that the government's electoral body does not have the
constitutional mandate to issue legislation. The federal government last year adopted new
regulations that created greater government control of media practices and set
out punishments for violations of the regulations.
editors and publishers attending yesterday's meeting called the NEB's draft law
repressive because it puts preconditions of consent in order to secure
accreditation. According to one
provision in the NEB draft code, members of the media are required to sign the
law if they wish to get accredited.