National Broadcasts

National Broadcasts by the Chairman

From the inception of the Electoral Advisory Committee (EAC) in 1979, the pattern of communication of the general public was through Statements put out in Press Releases, slogans carried by radio and television and through paid advertisements. While these were appropriate and effective for the purpose for which they were employed, the EAC appointed in December 2000 did not see these as appropriate and sufficient to convey major reforms of the electoral process that would be implemented in the next General Election which could be called at any time within two years. The new EAC had taken nearly a year to assess the situation, agree on new measures and design their implementation.

Given the almost crisis atmosphere that prevailed and many pessimistic forecasts of what was to come the EAC decided that the EAC would communicate directly with the general public and the electorate through television and radio just prior to Nomination Day and just prior to Election Day, as announced by the Prime Minister. This direct communication with the public and electorate would be done by National Broadcasts delivered by the Chairman of the EAC.

The basic content of these National Broadcasts included an exhortation to citizenship through participating in the electoral process; information about new measures being implemented to make the electoral process more efficient and secure; and reminders about the procedures that would be followed in polling stations to identify voters and for voting itself. The broadcasts in 2002 were well received and became standard practice the night prior to Election Day for General Parliamentary Elections and Local Government Election up to the General Election of Dec 2011 and Local Government Election in March 2012.

A National Broadcast was also done in March 2006 on the first Residence Re-Verification Exercise. This broadcast informed the public and the electorate on the background and legal basis for re-verifying where electors reside as well as described how the exercise had been carried out and would be concluded.