Political organizations take advantage of every day, space and time to directly or indirectly promote their candidates in the months leading up to an election. And it is precisely this discretion, typical of the pre-campaign period, which has led to a dispute between the Municipality of Guayaquil and the Prefecture of Guayas, for the alleged use of public funds for the promotion of candidates to the 2019 elections. Both are accused and both deny it.
The mayor of Guayaquil, Jaime Nebot, clarified yesterday that the projections on institutional screens of the proclamation of the nomination of Cynthia Viteri respond to a communication exercise of the acts that he attends as mayor and do not represent an expense for the Municipality. For the prefect of Guayas and also aspiring to the Mayor of Guayaquil, Jimmy Jairala, if it is as the mayor argues, “then let me also communicate the presentation of my candidacy,” he told EXPRESO.
Nebot also explained that the municipality guidelines institutional advertising directly with the media and not through agencies, which represents savings. Jairala defended this type of contracting that “if it were illegal, the media should not accept it”.
A space that neither mentions are the radio links that both broadcast weekly, in which they also usually deal with political and, at this time, electoral issues. According to the Prefect Milton Carrera, in the case of this entity, it is a space hired under the heading of accountability of the institutional budget. “The activities of the Prefecture are reported and the end is fulfilled regardless of whether the journalists ask other questions because the prefect does not cease to be a political subject.”
These replies and counter-replies confirm what EXPRESO, in its edition of July 18, explained: the pre-campaign is a space without legislation, so it can be used at the discretion of parties and authorities to promote their applicants or in any space and moment.
Medardo Oleas, former president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, considers that it is “direct and deceptive” advertising when they promote the faces and names of those who in advance are known to be candidates. “Disseminate in the way it is done is misuse the assets and resources of the State, so it should intervene the CNE and the Comptroller.”
John Gamboa, director of the Electoral Delegation of Guayas, informed EXPRESO that on the specific case of this conflict he expects the Electoral Contentious to indicate the guidelines for the respective control. If the use of public money is determined, it will issue a report for the Comptroller to sanction.
Mayor of Guayaquil and leader of the Social Christian Party
In the municipal screens, which do not have any cost, of all the acts in which the mayor of Guayaquil participates, it is reported.
Former President of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal
Electoral advertising is not only paid in the media, but the creation of that image using state resources and resources for people who know in advance that they will be candidates.
Prefect of Guayas and candidate for the Mayor of Guayaquil
I regret that they maintain that constant level of disqualification to those who do not think the same as the Social Christians … I am afraid that they are losing their emotional balance. (I)