Melcer rejects injunction to prevent PM 'dramatic announcement'

Election Commission Chairman accepts Likud statement that PM 'dramatic announcement' will be of news value, not election propaganda.

Mordechai Sones,

Erez Bit

Central Election Commission Chairman Justice Hanan Melcer rejected today a request by the Blue and White and "Democratic Union" parties to prevent live broadcasting of the "dramatic announcement" Netanyahu intends to deliver at 6 p.m.

Melcer made his decision following the Likud's response to the petition, claiming that the content is newsworthy rather than election propaganda.

"Respondent 2's [Netanyahu] remarks, which will be said during the press conference - have a clear news-informative value, which naturally deserves wide media coverage and public curiosity. This is not prohibited election propaganda and therefore there's no place to grant the requested order,” the Likud response said.

In his decision, Melcer instructed the media bodies, "The media bodies, who are referred to as respondents to the petitions in the headline, are to be trusted that in real time they will gauge the correctness of what's said, and if they conclude that there is election propaganda or deviations from the new value of the information to be provided - they will initiate stopping the 'live broadcast' for editing, prior to re-broadcasting, without propaganda messages."

Melcer also sent an implied warning to Likud, "This decision is given, based on the statements of Respondent 1 [Likud] mentioned above and assuming that there will not be Respondent 2 propaganda messages for Respondent 1. In addition, I am confident that Respondents 2-1 are aware of possible ramifications, if it turns out there was inaccuracy in statements made to me by Respondent 1."