Taipei, April 17 (CNA) The Central Election Commission said Tuesday it had fined seven media groups for violating the presidential election act during the presidential election of January this year.
Chinese Television System, a public media group, was fined NT$200,000 (US$6,781) for unfair handling of a televised presidential debate Jan. 23, commission officials said, citing the President and Vice President Election and Recall Act.
The TV station did not air a segment of a post-debate news conference in which James Soong, presidential candidate of the opposition People First Party (PFP), spoke, the commission committee concluded.
The other two candidates -- incumbent President Ma Ying-jeou and Tsai Ing-wen of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) -- both talked to the press prior to Soong's turn, but their parts were aired.
Four other TV stations -- Era Communications Co., Cti TV, iSET TV and Eastern Broadcasting Co. -- and their representatives were each fined NT$500,000 for releasing statistics related to the elections within the 10 days prior to the Jan. 14 election day, the officials said.
In addition, the stations were also fined for failing to provide required data during phone-in voting conducted during their programs.
The website of local newspaper China Times and its representative, Lee Yu-sheng, was fined NT$500,000 respectively for mentioning on election day that Ma had a lead of 3 percent to 4 percent, which was also in contravention of the act, according to the commission.
Meanwhile, a local radio station in Kaohsiung and its representative each received a penalty of NT$500,000 for citing election polls in the run-up to the elections.
In addition, an individual was also fined NT$500,000 for citing election polls in online forums before the poll closed while 11 others were fined for tearing up their ballots at the polls, the commission said.
(By Angela Tsai and Kendra Lin)