Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug. 27 / Trend T.Hajiyev /
The ruling New Azerbaijan Party discussed the OSCE Baku Office's recommendations for the upcoming parliamentary elections today.
"Election campaigns are not conducted on public television anywhere in the world - neither in the U.S., nor in Europe," NAP Deputy Executive Secretary, MP Siyavush Novruzov said.
"There is one state-run television that broadcasts public events in Azerbaijan."
The OSCE Baku Office announced earlier a number of principles to help ensure equitable media coverage ahead of the November parliamentary elections, following discussions earlier this week at a round-table event with political parties.
Three major recommendations that emerged as a result of the discussions include: 1. More than three hours per week of unpaid airtime should be offered to political parties and candidates on both public television and public radio during the election campaign period. One-third of this airtime should be allocated for debates and the rest for candidates; 2. Nationwide and regional private television channels should be encouraged to participate in the election campaign period and provide airtime; 3. Article 77.1 of the Election Code should be repealed to allow the former state television channel, AzTV, to offer airtime during the election campaign period.
According to Novruzov, the Azerbaijani Public Television Channel gives airtime to candidates on the basis of the Electoral Code and creates equal opportunities for all electoral candidates.
"Private television channels may grant airtime on a contract basis," he said. "There is no mechanism for free campaigning anywhere else in the world."
Parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan are scheduled for Nov. 7. The elections are held by the majority system in 125 constituencies.
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