Press Group functioning under the Central Election Commission held a session

16 january 2024 14:00

The Press Group functioning under the Central Election Commission (CEC) held a session on January 16, 2024 regarding the early Presidential elections of the Republic of Azerbaijan, appointed to February 7, 2024.


During the session attended by CEC members represented in the Press Group, representatives of relevant media outlets, who are members of the group, as well as, an international observer, the information was initially provided about the progress of campaign processes related to the Presidential elections. It was reported that pre-election campaign commenced from January 15, 2024 and this period shall stop within 24 hours before the commencement of the voting. Seven candidates, nominated by different political parties, as well as, on their own initiatives joined the free election campaign upon being registered.


At the same time, it was informed that ample opportunities and inclusive conditions have been provided to conduct pre-election campaign. So, as 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 for conducting meetings with voters. Those venues are provided free of charge without requiring any permission for all campaign subjects and meetings with voters can be held only by reporting to the relevant Con.ECs in advance, to avoid overlapping with the meetings of other candidates and political parties with registered candidates. The Election Code determined the possibility of using other locations which are not prohibited by legislation. If 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.


And it was also mentioned that in addition to the "Azərbaycan”, "Xalq qəzeti”, "Bakinski raboçi” newspapers, the "Respublika” newspaper has also allocated a space for publication in these elections and thus, the number of periodicals for free pre-election campaign has been raised to four in these elections. All of 44 applications filed by media for the payable pre-election campaigning is a demonstration of higher activity of the media in the upcoming elections more than compared to previous years.

It was also noted 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. The first debate was held on January 15 by the Public TV and Radio Broadcasting Company and none of the situation contradicting the legislation occurred. The airtime will be presented to the TV audience regularly 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. The debates are broadcasted directly for the first time through the official social media account of the Public TV and Radio Broadcasting Company, thereby playing a significant role as an additional method in reaching a broader audience to deliver pre-election platforms of candidates.

The functions, powers and duties of the CEC Press Group were recalled once more at the session. It was stated that the Press Group, the activity of which is regulated by the Election Code and the relevant regulation adopted by CEC, shall oversee the compliance with the rules for conducting pre-election campaign in the media. Mostly, the members are specialists dealing with journalism. In its activities, the Group takes the requirements determined by law regarding pre-election campaign, acts adopted by CEC, as well as other normative documents as a basis. The Press Group also undertakes measures to ensure compliance with the established rules and procedures for conducting pre-election campaigns in the media and also, in necessary cases, basing on those applications, submits proposals for consideration by the CEC.

During the meeting of the Press Group, the role and duties of the media in the elections were discussed and it was emphasized on the impossibility of envisaging the elections without media. Mass media participates freely and independently in the elections and provides significant contributions to informing the public. The legislation not only grants rights but also defines duties and responsibilities for the media in ensuring the openness and transparency of processes, either during the pre-election campaign stage, or on the voting day. All election stakeholders shall strictly comply with the requirements of the Election Code and relevant legislation.


At the session it was informed on the possibility to hold the next sessions of the Press Group when necessary or upon receiving applications related to the Presidential elections.


At the end of the meeting of the Press Group, extensive discussions were held on broadcasting of elections in the media, general requirements for pre-election campaign, roles and duties of the subjects participating in this stage, as well as, various issues related to the functions of the Press Group and therewith, a number of questions of the participants were responded to.

Media and Communication Department
CEC Secretariat