Azerbaijani CEC not to change decision on free airtime
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 19 / Trend , J.Babayeva/
The Azerbaijani Central Election Commission (CEC) said sufficient free airtime will be granted to referendum initiative groups.
"Referendum initiative groups that want more airtime can receive it on a paid basis. The media is prepared to broadcast their opinions," CEC Secretary Natiq Mammadov told journalists on Feb. 19.
The groups will have an opportunity to debate the referendum from 18:15 to 19:45 on Saturdays and 20:15 to 21:45 on Wednesdays on the Public Television station. The groups will be allotted four blocks of free airtime on public television and radio during the campaign period.
The referendum campaign began Feb. 18 and will end March 16 at midnight.
The Republicans group formed by the Azerbaijani opposition Musavat party said the allotted airtime as insufficient. But the CEC has not changed its decision despite the protests, Musavat said.
Azerbaijan will hold a referendum on March 18 to amend the Constitution.
The Azerbaijani Constitution was adopted in 1995. Amendments and additions were made in 2002.
Under the law, free airtime must be alloted to referendum groups on public television and radio for over three hours per week.
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