Drawing lots was held by the Central Election Commission (CEC) with the purpose of the distribution of the allocated free airtime for the registered presidential candidates

15 january 2024 14:00

The Central Election Commission (CEC) conducted the following session chaired by Mr. Mazahir Panahov on January 15, 2024. Firstly, during the session, the issues were considered regarding the conduct of drawing lots, reporting results and publishing the distribution table with the purpose of the allocated free airtime by the Public TV and Radio Broadcasting Company to conduct pre-election campaign in the early Presidential elections of the Republic of Azerbaijan, appointed to February 7, 2024.

It was informed that the registration process of the candidates for presidency has already been finalized and the candidacies of seven competitors nominated by different political parties, as well as, nominated on their own initiatives were registered. In accordance with the Election Code requirements, the pre-election campaign stage, which commenced from January 15, 2024 shall be stopped within 24 hours before the commencement of the voting. Inclusive conditions and ample opportunities have been provided for conducting pre-election campaign freely and independently in the elections. In total, 278 venues - 139 indoor and 139 outdoor venues were allocated for registered candidates and the political parties with registered candidates across 125 Con.ECs in towns and regions of the country to conduct meetings with voters. Those venues are provided free of charge for all campaign subjects and meetings with voters can be held by only reporting to the relevant Con.EC in advance, without requiring any permission.

It is also allowed to use other locations not prohibited by legislation, as in compliance with the Election Code, for the purpose of conducting the pre-election campaign. When candidates submit applications, additional equal opportunities for meetings are also planned for all pre-election campaign subjects basing on the principle of equality in collaboration of local institutions with relevant Con.ECs. The number of periodicals for free pre-election campaign have been raised in these elections and along with, "Azərbaycan”, "Xalq qəzeti”, "Bakinski raboçi” newspapers, the "Respublika” newspaper has also allocated a space for publication.

All of 44 requests by media for the payable pre-election campaigning have been implemented within the timeframe and method outlined in the legislation and all the submitted information has been publicized on the Commission’s official webpage. It should be noted that the media has demonstrated special activity for payable campaigning in these elections more than compared to previous years.

Therewith, while informing CEC members and session participants, it was stated that weekly 6 hours’ free airtime – twice more than the one implied in the legislation had been allocated by the Public TV and Radio Broadcasting Company. The entitled subjects shall use three hours of that time for “round table” on TV and three times for “round table” on radio. According to the consensus arrived between CEC and the Public TV and Radio Broadcasting Company upon the initiative of the registered candidates and political parties with a registered candidate, the allocated airtime will be presented to the TV audience during most watchable hours at 21.00 for an hour each time on three weekdays and to the radio audience at 21.00 for an hour each time on three weekdays. At the same time, the debates broadcasted on TV are planned to be directly aired for the first time, through the official social media platform of the Public TV and Radio Broadcasting Company, thereby contributing to the follow and awareness-raising of broader audience.

Later, during the Commission session, drawing lots was held with the participation of the representatives of the registered candidates and political parties with a registered candidate, international observers and media representatives with the purpose of the distribution of the free airtime allocated by the Public TV and Radio Broadcasting Company to campaign in the upcoming elections. Placement and speech sequence of the candidates to presidency or their authorized representatives on “round table” was defined.

CEC adopted a decision to publish the table of airtime distribution upon making the lottery results official.

During the session, agents of Great Order Party, National Front Party and Great Azerbaijan Party were registered and current issues were considered.

Media and Communication Department
CEC Secretariat