MOSCOW, November 5 (Itar-Tass) — The most bright and spectacular stage starts at the State Duma election race. Starting from this Saturday, seven parties, participating in the polls, have the right to publicity campaign in the mass media.
In compliance with the law, each party have one hour of free airing at four federal TV networks and four radio stations. Incidentally, the number of TV channels increased as against the 2007 general elections. This time, apart from Rossiya 1, the First Channel and TV Centre, Rossiya 24 grants free airing to the parties. As many as 12 newspapers and one magazine offered free print space for contestants.
The law requires that half of the offered time should be given to collective forms of advertising, that is debates. The parties won free broadcasting at a drawing, held at the Russian CEC back on October 31. Participants in debates were also fingered out with the drawing. As a result, each party got a chance to argue with opponents ten times in TV casting and nine times over radio. However, Russians can see the first debates, to be exact, hear only on November 7, since free publicity is conducted only on workdays.
The Mayak radio station opens the debate season next Monday where Just Russia will clash with Right Cause as well as News FM where the Russian Liberal Democratic Party and Yabloko will try to prove their preference. The First Channel will launch TV debates on November 9. The Russian Communist Party and Just Russia will argue at 07.00 MT, while Right Cause and Yabloko will argue at 18.15.
It is expected that the debate which will be conducted in the framework of the Good Morning programme, will be anchored by Arina Sharapova and in the evening – Peter Tolstoy.
United Russia and the Russian Liberal Democratic Party will be participants in the debate which will be held on the Rossiya 24 channel (18.00) on November 10. Incidentally, this TV channel participates in the publicity campaign for the firs time.
Rossiya 1 organised a TV debate in the form of a political “Duel” talk show with the same anchorman Vladimir Solovyev. The first such duel will be held between Yabloko and Patriots of Russia on November 10 (22.50). Incidentally, representatives of parties very positively assessed not only the format of debates to be held at prime time, but also its nearly one hour length. Rossiya 1 put forth still another initiative at this Duma election race, suggesting that parties should organise TV debates in the commercial sphere.
It should be remembered that apart from free time on television and in newspapers, election racers have the right to advertise at the mass media for money. CEC member Maya Grishina said that “31 TV channels, 137 newspapers and magazines as well as 26 mass media Internet sites expressed their readiness to offer parties TV time and newspaper space on a commercial basis.
Grishina explained that she meant only federal mass media in this case. The regional mass media also may join commercial publicity campaign.
Parties use commercial advertising virtually at each elections, though sums are very considerable. But the lure to win voters is too great especially at the last stage of campaigns.
It is worthy of noting that very important legislative chances start operating at these elections. Grishina stressed that parties that would win less than three percent of the electorate, will not have free TV time and newspaper space at parliamentary elections at the next elections five years later. In other words, they can conduct their election campaign for money.
The publicity period in the mass media will last till midnight on December 3. Following this time, “the day of calm” comes into force.
The elections of deputies of the sixth State Duma will be held on December 4.