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MOSCOW, February 2 (Itar-Tass) – Each presidential candidate in Russia will get 9 hours of free airtime on major federal television and radio channels, the Central Election Commission member Maya Grishina said on Thursday before the lot-drawing ceremony.
“Four and a half hours of that time will be given to joint campaigning events”, the so-called debates, she said. About two and a half hours will be given for dissemination of election materials, and the rest of the time will be used by the candidates for videos, presentations, etc.
Grishina confirmed earlier that self-nominated candidate Mikhail Prokhorov would not take part in the distribution of free airtime intended for political parties.
She told Itar-Tass that the Central Election Commission’s working group on information disputes considered an appeal filed by three presidential candidates, which concerned free airtime. “Although it was addressed to the Central Election Commission, it concerned television companies, specifically the topics of the debates, their timing, etc.,” she said. “As far as I now, the channels took into account the candidates’ proposals as much as they could,” she added.
Grishina also said that the candidates could campaign on a paid basis on state-owned television and radio channels. Nine to eighteen hours will be allotted for paid campaigning.
She confirmed that “none of the candidates thus far rejected free airtime”.
Four television and four radio channels will offer free airtime to the candidates for campaigning.