Ecuador approves electoral law censoring news media

Ecuador's National Assembly has approved President Rafael Correa's changes to the Democracy Code, which goes into effect Feb. 4 and prohibits news media from transmitting beneficial or harmful messages about candidates, reported El Diario.

The new electoral reform in effect restricts media from organizing political debates or interviews that would allow voters to understand the candidates' proposals, according to Ecuavisa.

The orgaization Fundamedios condemned the law's approval, arguing that it censors citizen information about the electoral process.The organization's director, César Ricaurte, warned that the law means journalists will have to wait until after the elections to denounce corruption among candidates.

Correa contends that the law prevents private media from imposing their own political agenda, reported the government site El Ciudadano.

Ecuador holds its next presidential elections in 2013, and it is probable that Correa will seek re-election.