The issue on dissemination of campaign materials of the presidential elections in Azerbaijan by foreign media outlets, discussion of which remained incomplete at the recent meeting has been included into the agenda.
Member of Press Group from “Azerbaijan” newspaper Elgun Mansimov said that the dissemination of campaign materials of the presidential elections in Azerbaijan by foreign media outlets is contrary to the legislation and Election Code of the country.
CEC member, head of the Group Azer Taghiyev noted that Radio Liberty, Voice of America and BBC offices in Azerbaijan have been developing campaign materials as the election campaign started: “These media outlets should take into account that conducting such a campaign is contrary to the legislation of Azerbaijan.”
They issued a statement on the importance of honoring the requirements of the legislation on pre-election campaign by the media outlets.
The statement says that some foreign media outlets are conducting illegal and negative campaign under the pretext of highlighting election process by disdaining requirements of the legislation and flagrantly violating them. Thus, they are becoming representatives of some political interests and violating the right of voters for fair information. It is also shown in the activities of some foreign media outlets operating in Azerbaijan. The participation of influential organizations like Radio Liberty, Voice of America and
“The Group also considers candidates’ attending campaign-related programs of foreign media outlets intentionally or unintentionally as a step contrary to the electoral legislation,” says the statement.
Press Group under the CEC has 19 members.
Radio Liberty reported that the appeals against it are attempts of the ruling party to intimidate independent media and monitor the election coverage.
The Radio said that the coverage of the elections has been carried out in accordance with the Election Code and international media standards: “We are fully defending our activities in the election coverage.”
The Radio also noted that they will inform the OSCE Observation Mission regarding this issue.
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