Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug. 26 / Trend M.Aliyev /
The OSCE Baku Office announced today a number of principles to help ensure equitable media coverage ahead of the November parliamentary elections, following discussions at a roundtable event with political parties earlier this week, the office reported.
The following four main recommendations emerged as a result of the discussions: More than three hours per week of unpaid air time should be offered to political parties and candidates on both public television and public radio during the election campaign period. One third of this time should be allocated for debates and the rest for the candidates, to be used independently by the political parties; Opportunities to participate in news programmes, live forums, talk shows and other programming should be offered to representatives from all political parties on a non-discriminatory basis; Nationwide and regional private television channels should be encouraged to participate in the election campaign period and provide air time; Article 77.1 of the Election Code should be repealed to allow AzTV (the former state TV channel) to offer air time during the election campaign period.
Parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan are scheduled for Nov. 7. The elections are held by the majority system in 125 constituencies.
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