There have been serious threats against press freedom, especially during recent primary elections on February 20 when the broadcast media were arbitrarily ordered to follow government directives. One reason for this pressure is that the government of President Ricardo Maduro had Porfirio Lobo Sosa, the pre-candidate for one of the parties, as president of the National Congress, and he felt that some media outlets did not favor him. The government used its power to manipulate the National Telecommunications Commission, CONATEL, which regulates the broadcast media, and the National Elections Board, which organizes and administers the electoral process. The general elections will be held in November and the political campaign will begin in April. The following were the main violations of press freedom: On January 19, the National Congress approved a motion to instruct CONATEL and the elections board to sponsor free nationwide broadcast chains for political party factions to promote their candidates. Porfirio Lobo Sosa used radio chains in his capacity as president of Congress, but his broadcasts were clearly political. Between February 10 and 17, Congress sent out ads in which it prohibited the publication of election surveys or exit polls the day of the primaries, February 20. It was assumed that the media would distort the results and influence the voters toward a specific group. The president of the National Congress signed the message along with a threatening note directed as the media and their executives, urging them to publish the ads. On January 6, journalist Frank Mejía was detained, beaten and jailed by the city's crime prevention police because he had publicly protested the cutting of several trees in the Central Park. Also in January journalist Carlos Galeas, director of the news programs of radio station San Miguel in Marcala in La Paz department, was charged with obstruction of justice. There is a lawsuit against Arnulfo Aguilar of the daily La Prensa for an article against former judge Telma de Zerón. It is feared that the journalist may be convicted and sentenced in the case. There is also a lawsuit against journalist Serapio Umanzon (who worked at La Prensa ) for journalistic work involving legislator Francisco Herrera Donnineli. Media outlets and the press in general patiently obeyed all the rulings of the electoral board, despite considering them unconstitutional, and did not publish the results of political surveys for 50 days before the primary elections. Since they obeyed the Law of Elections and Political Organizations, the Congress's warning was not necess ary.