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Marie-Soleil Frère (Université Libre de Bruxelles) (2010). Media constraints in sub-Saharan Africa. Bergen: Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI Brief 4)

”Free and fair” elections depend not only on factors like adequate election management bodies, election transparency and the absence of coercion. For election to be truly free and fair citizens must also have access to sufficient information about the parties, candidates and voting procedures to ensure the making of enlightened and valid election choices. Access to sufficient information can only occur in a milieu where all the players, including the candidates, political parties, citizens, civil society and journalists, can openly express facts and political positions. Without a doubt, the media play a vital role in this process, to the extent that democratic elections are simply unthinkable without a free press.