CAMPAIGNING OPPORTUNITIES FOR ELECTION CANDIDATES LIMITED BY CHANGES TO ELECTION CODE

June 3rd, 2008

As a result of amendments to the Election Code approved by the Milli Mejlis (Parliament) on 2 June, campaigning during the run-up for presidential elections will only be allowed on Public TV.

Up until now candidates were given six hours on the State TV channel (AZTV), but this is now prohibited. 
According to “Zerkalo” newspaper, in accordance with the changes made to the Article 81.11 of the Code, paid campaign messages on private TV and radio channels during the run-up for presidential elections will be carried out in accordance with the “Law on Advertising.” TV channels may allocate only 25 percent of broadcasting time for advertising during a day. 
According to the changes, the period of the preparation and organization of election campaigns for presidential, parliamentary, and municipality elections has been reduced from 120 days to 75 days. Propaganda and publicity campaigns for presidential elections will last for only 28 days, reduced from 60 days. 
Candidates are also now prohibited from pasting propaganda material on public premises, residential buildings and so on. 
One-hundred parliamentarians voted for the changes to the Election Code, three against it, and one abstained. There are 124 deputies in Azerbaijan Milli Mejlis.