Free Air Time to be Allocated for Candidates to Presidential Post in Azerbaijani Public Television and Radio
Azerbaijan, Baku, 12 May / Trend corr. I.Alizade / The Public Television and Radio (ITV) will continue to allocate free air time to candidates during the presidential, parliamentary and municipality elections in Azerbaijan. "ITV will allocate free air time to the candidates for presidential post in the same framework as it was in the State-run Television and Radio (AzTV)," Safa Mirzoyev, head of the Parliamenatry Administration of Azerbaijan, stated in his exclusive interview to Trend .
"Under the previous version of the Election Code, AzTV used to allocate 6 hours free air time to candidates in a week. Three hours were allocated on TV and three on radio. Furthermore, agitation materials by candidates were also printed in the newspapers, financed by the state".
The presidential elections in Azerbaijan will be held on 15 October 2008. A new draft on improving the Election Code has been developed as a result of the discussions between the Azerbaijani government and the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe and draft of the Bill has already been submitted to the Parliament
The new draft imposes ban on propaganda of candidates for presidential, parliamentary and municipality elections on television, radio and newspapers financed by the government. Opposition believes that the project limits the possibility of the opposition camp.
"The rumours that the amendments into the Election Code were directed to limit the possibilities of opposition are not true. The prohibition to propaganda candidates in the presidential, parliamentary and municipality elections on television, radio and newspapers, financed by the government, meet international norms and it covers all the political forces in the country," Mirzoyev stated.
Mirzoyev stated the State-run television is under the state control and the propaganda by candidates via this channel is not right. "Venice Commission also recommended stopping propaganda of candidates on the State-run television as well," Mirzoyev said.
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