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Cyprus

Akel boycotts CyBC over ‘biased’ election coverage

Akel spokesman Stafanos Stefanou

Main opposition Akel has decided to boycott public broadcaster CyBC in retaliation for what it says is biased coverage.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was apparently CyBC’s reporting on the municipal elections on Sunday evening.

In a sternly worded letter addressed to CyBC chairman Thanasis Tsokkos,  Akel spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said party cadres have been instructed not to participate in any radio or television debates hosted by the station.

The embargo would last until CyBC “has demonstrated clear signs that it is implementing a code of journalistic conduct”.

Akel is complaining that on Sunday night the public broadcaster interrupted a live transmission of party leader Andros Kyprianou, who was about to give a statement on the elections.

Instead, CyBC moved to cover live comments by Disy chief Averof Neophytou from the election campaign headquarters of Nicos Nicolaides, who had just won the Limassol mayorship.

This was despite the fact that CyBC had already broadcast statements by both Neophytou and Nicolaides, Akel said.

“This action is a provocation and an insult to our party, and constitutes a breach of every rule of objectivity,” Stefanou said in his letter.

He said this was only the latest in a series of occasions where CyBC had engaged in slanted coverage, at the expense of Akel.

“It goes without saying that Akel expects the board of CyBC to issue a public apology for the unacceptable events of last night.”

 

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