KIEV, April 22, /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s candidates for presidency are starting a pre-election campaign on national TV channels. The regulations for granting airtime to them were determined by the country’s Central Electoral Commission in the course of voting.
An official at the commission’s secretariat told Itar-Tass each of the 23 candidates will get no less than 30 minutes of free air time. They will have an opportunity to address the nationwide audiences one time on Channel One in the period of April 22 through to May 22 and twice on Channel One of the national radio in the period of May 5 through to May 23.
Vassily Kuibida, the leader of People’s Rukh (Pathway) organization, will be the first one to use his free air time slot. He will be followed by Zorian Shkiryak, a former deputy of the Kiev City Hall.
The ultra-radical candidate, Oleg Lyashko, and Oleg Tsaryov, a leader of the Russian-speaking community in the eastern regions of the country will be next on the list and will address the audiences April 23.
Yulia Timoshenko, who is a former prime minister, a former convict and the leader of Batkivshchina (Fatherland) party will be on Channel One May 5 and Pyotr Poroshenko, who is widely regarded as a favorite of the presidential race, will make his address to the nation May 8.
The CEC admitted 23 candidates to the presidential race and nine of them have been nominated by political parties. Some of the names are fairly well known - Yulia Timoshenko (Batkivshchina), former defense minister Anatoly Gritsenko (Civil Position party), Alexander Klimenko (Ukrainian People’s Party), former social policies minister Nataly Korolevkaya (Ukraine Forward!), Vasily Kuibida (People’s Rukh), Oleg Lyashko (Radical Party), Pyotr Simonenko (Communist Party), Oleg Tyagnybok (Svoboda), and Dmitry Yarosh (Privy Sektor) who has been place on an international list of wanted persons.
Other candidates, including Pyotr Poroshenko, are self-nominees, although the latter may count on support of boxing champion Vitaly’s Klitschko’s UDAR Party.
Former governor of the Kharkov region, Mikhail Dobkin who is also a self-nominee, has rallied support of the Regions Party.