Press Service of the CPRF Central Committee
Candidates for the President of the Russian Federation, G.A. Zyuganov and V.V. Zhirinovsky have signed a joint statement demanding the state power and administration bodies to ensure the principle of free elections, the equality guaranteed by the Russian law to all the presidential candidates in the information and political broadcasting during the presidential election 2012. The agreement was signed on February 14 at the joint press-conference in “Interfax” news agency.
We, the candidates for the President of the Russian Federation express our disagreement with the violation of the free elections principle during the presidential campaign 2012.
The Constitution of the Russian Federation in Article 3 identifies free elections as the highest direct expression of the people rule. The stated principle must act at all stages of the election, taking into account international obligations as well.
For example, the principle of free elections is specified in Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 dated March 20, 1952, to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ETS No. 5) 1950, which Russia pledged to observe. In addition, the European Court on Human Rights, interpreting in its decisions the provisions of Article 3 of Protocol No.1 on free elections, underlines that free elections are possible only under conditions of the impartiality from the state and its organs. But such impartiality primarily concerns the use of the media and the state restraint of any violations during the elections.
The current election campaign does not provide equal time coverage of the election activities of the presidential candidates. The stipulated by Russian law preference ban in the broadcasting for any political candidate or constituency association in the information and political broadcasting is ignored. The “United Russia” candidate V.V. Putin is in absolutely privileged position as compared to other candidates participating in the presidential election.
This conclusion is confirmed by the monitoring of information and political programs at major federal TV channels, which at varying degrees are controlled by the government and affiliated entities. Thus for example, the total duration of all presidential candidates items only in the last decade (February 2-11, 2012) in news-reels, information and political programs on five TV channels (“First Channel”, “Russia-1″,”NTV”,”TVC” and “Ren-TV”), according to the monitoring of candidates’ campaign headquarters made 60 870 seconds of the broadcasting time. At the same timecandidate V. Putin received 67% of such broadcasting time. For the other four registered candidates all together, despite the significant and socially important information occasions, only 33% of the total broadcasting time was allotted in the programs with reference to the activities of the presidential campaign participants.
The TV documentaries about the achievements of the Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and rather lengthy news footages of the de-facto agitation articles by candidate V.V. Putin as well undermine the principles of free elections and all candidates equality. Both footages and articles themselves, replicated by state controlled regional and local media, are not paid from the “United Russia” candidate’s electoral fund.
An additional fact which prevents the holding of free elections has become the refusal of the candidate V.V. Putin to go on leave during the election campaign. Several hours’ “vacations” of the ruling party candidate for campaigning have become a sad novel of Russian law.
In the current Russia’s situation after the elections to the State Duma of the Russian Federation in December 2011 the Russian government is due to perform its functions impartially and honestly. We, the candidates for President of the Russian Federation call on the state power and administration bodies to ensure the principle of free elections and guaranteed by Russian law equality of all the presidential candidates in the information and political broadcasting during the presidential election 2012.
Candidates for the President of the Russian Federation, G.A. Zyuganov and V.V. Zhirinovsky.