MOSCOW, September 16. /TASS/. A day of silence ahead of State Duma elections, when all campaigning is prohibited, will begin in the easternmost parts of Russia within hours. While in the central and western regions of the country it will be still Friday, clocks in the Kamchatka and Chukchi peninsulas will strike midnight to start the counting the last 24 hours to the election day.
The time gap between Moscow and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky is nine hours, so the day of pre-election silence there and in the neighboring Chukchi Autonomous Area will begin at 15:00 Moscow time.
In Moscow, the official ban on electioneering will take effect at 00:00 on September 17. The voting in the easternmost regions of the country will begin at 23:00 Moscow time, one hour before the day of silence in the Russian capital will be over.
Under the law on State Duma elections all electioneering on television and radio stations, in periodicals and online publications is to terminate at 00:00 hours local time of the day preceding the day of voting.
"Those mass media which broadcast programs to the whole territory of Russia will see to it no electioneering content should go on the air starting from the moment the deadline in the Far East goes into force," the secretary of the Central Election Commission, Maya Grishina, told TASS.
Twenty four hours before the voting day a ban takes effect on any electioneering, events and rallies by political parties, distribution of handouts and political advertising on the television and radio. This rule has been established in many countries to give the voters some time to think and make a conscious choice without any last-minute pressures.
Election adds placed before that can stay in place, provided they are no closer than 50 meters away from the polling stations. Online resources are not obliged to remove political ads published before.
The ban does not apply to calls by the Central Election Commission for going to the polling stations, because they are not an act of campaigning for a specific candidate or political party.
On the day of voting electioneering is prohibited, too. The ban will stay in effect till 21:00 Moscow time of September 18, when the last polling stations will close in Russia’s westernmost Kaliningrad Region.
State Duma elections will be held under a mixed pattern: 225 legislators will be elected on party tickets and another 225, in single member-constituencies. On the same day there will be elections of legislative assemblies in 39 regions of the country. Seven territories will be electing top officials and five thousand municipal bodies of power.