Pasaules standarti

Partiju/kampaņas finanses

Attieksme pret naudu politikā un tās regulēšanu

  • Apkopojums par dažādām autoritatīvu starptautisko organizāciju un ekspertu atziņām par naudas vietu politikā ir atrodams 2009.gada ziņojumā par globālo pieredzi partiju finanšu regulēšanā (18.-19.lpp.). Galvenie šo atziņu vispārinājumi: 1) nauda ir nepieciešama demokrātiskiem politiskiem procesiem - partijām ir jābūt finansējumam, lai iesaistītos politikas procesos; 2) Vienlaicīgi naudas ieplūšana politikā ir problēmātiska un tādēļ regulējama; 3) regulējumam ir jāatbilst attiecīgās sabiedrības politiskajai kultūrai - partiju finanšu jautājumos nav universālu risinājumu; 4) regulējumam jābūt efektīvam - t.sk. tādam jābūt arī kontroles mehānismam.
  • Eiropas Padomes Parlamentārās asamblejas 2001.gada rekomendācija Nr.1516, preambula (1.-4.; 6.-7. punkti)

Citizens are showing growing concern with regard to corruption linked to political parties' gradual loss of independence and the occurrence of improper influence on political decisions through financial means. The Assembly, stressing that political parties are an essential element of pluralistic democracies, is seriously preoccupied by this situation.

A number of scandals linked to the financing of political parties in several Council of Europe member states in all parts of Europe over recent years has demonstrated that this issue must be addressed as a matter of urgency in order to prevent the loss of citizens' interest in the political life of their respective countries.

In order to maintain and increase the confidence of citizens in their political systems, Council of Europe member states must adopt rules governing the financing of political parties and electoral campaigns.

The Assembly is of the opinion that the general principles on which these rules should be based must be formulated at European level.

The conditions in which political parties exercise their activities have changed over recent decades and nowadays they need substantial financial resources to gain visibility and to obtain political support for their ideas. Therefore, the Assembly considers that the regulation mechanisms must take these realities into account and empower political parties to obtain sufficient resources to carry out their tasks and functions.

The Assembly believes that the rules on financing political parties and on electoral campaigns must be based on the following principles: a reasonable balance between public and private funding, fair criteria for the distribution of state contributions to parties, strict rules concerning private donations, a threshold on parties? expenditures linked to election campaigns, complete transparency of accounts, the establishment of an independent audit authority and meaningful sanctions for those who violate the rules.

The constant aim is to meet the requirements inherent in the inevitable cost of democracy. If the democratic process is to function well, it is necessary both to limit, as far as possible, and reduce expenditure by political parties and at the same time to safeguard the principle of equality between parties, which often appears to be jeopardised in favour of mainstream parties, which - because they obtain the highest scores and the largest number of seats - are allocated considerable public subsidies.

  • Starpparlamentu Savienības (Inter-Parliamentary Union) 1994.gada deklarācija par brīvu un vienlīdzīgu vēlēšanu kritērijiem (http://www.ipu.org/cnl-e/154-free.htm ceturtā panta pirmās daļas trešais apakšpunkts:

(1) States should take the necessary legislative steps and other measures, in accordance with their constitutional processes, to guarantee the rights and institutional framework for periodic and genuine, free and fair elections, in accordance with their obligations under international law. In particular, States should:
Provide for the formation and free functioning of political parties, possibly regulate the funding of political parties and electoral campaigns, ensure the separation of party and State, and establish the conditions for competition in legislative elections on an equitable basis

Considering that political parties are a fundamental element of the democratic systems of states and are an essential tool of expression of the political will of citizens;
Considering that political parties and electoral campaigns funding in all states should be subject to standards in order to prevent and fight against the phenomenon of corruption;
Convinced that corruption represents a serious threat to the rule of law, democracy, human rights, equity and social justice, that it hinders economic development, endangers the stability of democratic institutions and undermines the moral foundations of society

James Hamilton referāts 2008.gada konferencē par starptautiskajiem partiju finansējuma regulēšanas standartiem:

The starting point for any consideration of standards must be Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights which deal with freedom of expression and freedom of assembly and association as well as Article 3 of the (First) Additional Protocol to the Convention which guarantees the right to free elections. In the context of Article 11 the European Court of Human Rights has often referred to the essential role played by political parties in ensuring pluralism and democracy. As the court pointed out in The United Macedonian Organization Ilinden & Others v Bulgaria (application no 59491/00) (at paragraphs 60-61):
“60. Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic society and one of the basic conditions for its progress and for each individual’s self-fulfillment. Subject to paragraph 2 of Article 10, it is applicable to not only “ information” or “ideas” that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb. Such are the demands of pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness without which there is no “democratic society” ….
61. Consequently, the exceptions set out in Article 11 are to be construed strictly; only convincing and compelling reasons can justify restrictions on freedom of association. In determining whether a necessity within the meaning of Article 11 paragraph 2 exists, the states have only a limited margin of appreciation, which goes hand in hand with rigorous European supervision embracing both the law and the decisions applying it, including those given by independent courts ….”
Consequently, any limitations on the rights of political parties to raise funds must be prescribed by law and must be such as are necessary in democratic society and any limitations are to be strictly construed. Such limitations must be proportionate.

Atklātība partiju finansēs

Each State Party shall also consider taking appropriate legislative and administrative measures, consistent with the objectives of this Convention and in accordance with the fundamental principles of its domestic law, to enhance transparency in the funding of candidatures for elected public office and, where applicable, the funding of political parties.

Financing of political parties must be fully transparent, which requires political parties, in particular: to keep strict accounts of all income and expenditure, which must be submitted, at least once a year, to an independent auditing authority and be made public; to declare the identity of donors who give financial support exceeding a certain limit.

11 Electoral campaign accounts will be submitted to the organ charged with supervising election procedures, for example, an election committee, within a reasonable time limit after the elections.
12 The transparency of electoral expenses should be achieved through the publication of campaign accounts.

Article 10 Records of expenditure
States should require particular records to be kept of all expenditure, direct and indirect, on electoral campaigns in respect of each political party, each list of candidates and each candidate.

IV. Transparency
Article 11 Accounts
States should require political parties and the entities connected with political parties mentioned in Article 6 to keep proper books and accounts. The accounts of political parties should be consolidated to include, as appropriate, the accounts of the entities mentioned in Article 6.

Article 12 Records of donations
a. States should require the accounts of a political party to specify all donations received by the party, including the nature and value of each donation.
b. In case of donations over a certain value, donors should be identified in the records.

Article 13 Obligation to present and make public accounts
a. States should require political parties to present the accounts referred to in Article 11 regularly, and at least annually, to the independent authority referred to in Article 14.
b. States should require political parties regularly, and at least annually, to make public the accounts referred to in Article 11 or as a minimum a summary of those accounts, including the information required in Article 10, as appropriate, and in Article 12.

Political parties, candidates and politicians should disclose assets, income and expenditure to an independent agency. Such information should be presented in a timely fashion, on an annual basis, but particularly before and after elections. It should list donors and the amount of their donations, including in kind contributions and loans, and should also list destinations of expenditure.
The information should be made publicly available in a timely manner so that the public can take account of it prior to elections.

Disclosure is the cornerstone of political finance oversight. Without effective disclosure, other regulations like spending limits or bans on certain types of contributions are nearly impossible to enforce. Getting the disclosure system right is therefore crucially important for addressing the problems that political finance regulations are intended to target.
Effective oversight of political finance is normally beyond the reach of any single actor. 2. By making the information public, the political finance regulator can get assistance from media and civil society (and indeed from competing political parties) in monitoring the finances of candidates and political parties.
Creating a completely watertight disclosure system is most likely impossible. Care should be taken to ensure that no glaring loopholes are left in the reporting requirements (such as only demanding reporting during a very brief campaign period or excluding political parties or candidates from the reporting obligations).
At the same time, it is important to ensure that the disclosure requirements do not place an undue burden on the contestants. Overly complicated reporting requirements discourage compliance and often add little valuable information. Indeed, huge quantities of information are likely to make it more difficult for regulators, media and civil society actors to find the really interesting pieces of data.
In line with the above, make sure that the disclosure system takes into account local factors, such as the burden on the political finance regulators and the reporting bodies; the level of financial expertise and literacy among candidates; the technologies available for reporting and dissemination and the timeframe available for the submission, auditing and publication of financial reports.
Introducing disclosure requirements necessitates an open dialogue with those who are set to report, including discussions on the detailed reporting systems and training sessions with political party and candidate representatives.
Be prepared to reform any disclosure system over time. New systems always require fine-tuning, whereas even established systems need to be reviewed regularly to adjust to variations in how political finance functions overall in the country.

Valsts finansējums partijām

  • Eiropas Padomes Parlamentārās asamblejas 2001.gada rekomendācija Nr.1516, 8.paragrāfa A daļas 2.-4.punkti:

Political parties should receive financial contributions from the state budget in order to prevent dependence on private donors and to guarantee equality of chances between political parties. State financial contributions should, on the one hand, be calculated in ratio to the political support which the parties enjoy, evaluated on objective criteria such as the number of votes cast or the number of parliamentary seats won, and on the other hand enable new parties to enter the political arena and to compete under fair conditions with the more well-established parties.

State support should not exceed the level strictly necessary to achieve the above objectives, since excessive reliance on state funding can lead to the weakening of links between parties and their electorate.

Besides their financial contributions, states may contribute indirectly to financing political parties based on law, for example by covering the costs of postage and of meeting rooms, by supporting party media, youth organisations and research institutes; and also by granting tax incentives.

a. Public Financing
3 Public financing must be aimed at each party represented in Parliament.
4 In order, however, to ensure the equality of opportunities for the different political forces, public financing could also be extended to political bodies representing a significant section of the electoral body and presenting candidates for election. The level of financing could be fixed by legislator on a periodic basis, according to objective criteria.
Tax exemptions can be granted for operations strictly connected to the parties’ political activity.
5 The financing of political parties through public funds should be on condition that the accounts of political parties shall be subject to control by specific public organs (for example by a Court of Audit). States shall promote a policy of financial transparency of political parties that benefit from public financing.

Article 1 Public and private support to political parties
The state and its citizens are both entitled to support political parties.
The state should provide support to political parties. State support should be limited to reasonable contributions. State support may be financial.
Objective, fair and reasonable criteria should be applied regarding the distribution of state support.
States should ensure that any support from the state and/or citizens does not interfere with the independence of political parties.

Lawmakers considering the introduction of public funding or to change existing systems should carefully consider what goals they are trying to achieve with such reforms. The experiences from other countries can be very useful in designing a funding system, but lawmakers should be aware that other countries may try to rectify different perceived problems.
A close dialogue with the stakeholders themselves is crucial to guide the process. A key advice is to together identify the problems that such a system should address, and let this guide the way that the system is implemented.
Once the goals have been identified, the design needs to take into account the peculiarities of the political structures, including the electoral system, power relationships, and the nature of the political party system.
Do not expect public funding to cure all ails it is set to target, and do expect most effects to take time. Keep an eye out for perverse results of the funding provided.
Be prepared to make modifications of the system if it proves counterproductive, ineffective, or simply too unpopular.
Politicians will need to justify the funds they receive through engaging in responsible politics. Access to public funds should be seen as a privilege which parties and electoral candidates (as a whole) earn through their behavior, not an entitlement.
While I do not recommend one solution over any other, it would be a mistake to introduce public funding without requiring political parties and candidates to report on how the funds are used, and what their other sources of income are.
More generally, public funding of parties and candidates should be seen as one tool among many that can be used in combination to achieve the desired outcomes, including spending and contribution limits and bans.
Finally, while public funding can help to combat negative aspects of the private financing of politics, its use must not hinder free speech or the involvement of the electorate in the political process.

  • Venēcijas komisijas 2009.gada viedoklis par Kirgīzijas Politisko partiju likumprojektu:

32. Further, the Draft Law does not grant the right to political parties to get some form of state support (either in-kind or financial) for the carrying out of their essential activities. In contemporary politics, such support is generally provided by the state. Most democracies provide for different forms of state support for the political parties, with the understanding that they play a key role in elections and in the formation of public policy. Many countries have had special campaigns and programmes to strengthen their political parties. Financial or in-kind subsidies are essential in these programmes. Kyrgyzstan’s democracy would be likely to benefit from some special state support to the political parties, which aims to strengthen their resources in a fair and pluralistic way. It is suggested that the level of state subsidy received should be dependent upon parties’ participation in the last elections.

42. Where legislation foresees public funding ,political parties must have access to it subject to possible minimum requirements. The latter must be reasonable and non-discriminatory. Apart from different forms of funding provided for by law, any party must refrain from receiving assistance, financial or in kind, from any public authorities, particularly those directed by its members.

Venēcijas komisijas un EDSO kopējais viedoklis par Albānijas Vēlēšanu likumprojektu:

41. Article 86(1) stipulates that the Assembly shall determine the amount of public funds to be provided to a select group of electoral contestants – political parties in the Assembly. Article 87(2) states that fifty percent (50%) of the public campaign funds is “to be distributed among political parties registered as electoral subjects and having seats in the Assembly” “on the basis of the number of mandates won in the elections for the Assembly”. The remaining fifty percent (50%) of public campaign funds “is to be distributed among political parties registered as electoral subjects and which have obtained not less than 2 seats in the Assembly in the preceding elections for the Assembly, in proportion with the votes obtained by them nationwide”. This text means that only parliamentary parties are allocated public funds for the elections. It is questionable whether the parliamentary parties in the Assembly should give all of the public funds for the electoral campaign to themselves. The Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR recommend that these provisions be amended to provide some public funding mechanism for non-parliamentary parties.

  • Venēcijas komisijas labas prakses kodekss vēlēšanu jautājumos un tam pievienotais skaidrojošais memorands

Depending on the subject matter, equality may be strict or proportional. If it is strict, political parties are treated on an equal footing irrespective of their current parliamentary strength or support among the electorate. If it is proportional, political parties must be treated according to the results achieved in the elections. Equality of opportunity applies in particular to radio and television air-time, public funds and other forms of backing.
111. It should be remembered that in the field of public funding of parties or campaigns the principle of equality of opportunity applies (“strict” or “proportional” equality).[42] All parties represented in parliament must in all cases qualify for public funding. However, in order to ensure equality of opportunity for all the different political forces, public funding might also be extended to political formations that represent a large section of the electorate and put up candidates for election. The funding of political parties from public funds must be accompanied by supervision of the parties’ accounts by specific public bodies (e.g. the Auditor General’s Department). States should encourage a policy of financial openness on the part of political parties receiving public funding.

Privātais finansējums partijām un tā nosacījumi

States should encourage citizens' participation in the activities of political parties, including their financial support to parties. It should be accepted that membership fees, traditional and non-controversial sources of finance, are not sufficient to face the everincreasing expense of political competition.

Together with state funding, private funding is an essential source of finance for political parties. As private financing, in particular donations, creates opportunities for influence and corruption, the following rules should apply: a ban on donations from state enterprises, enterprises under state control, or firms which provide goods or services to the public administration sector; a ban on donations from companies domiciliated in offshore centres; strict limitations on donations from legal entities; a legal limit on the maximum sum of donations; a ban on donations by religious institutions.

b. Private Financing
6 Political parties may receive private financial donations. Donations from foreign States or enterprises must however be prohibited. This prohibition should not prevent financial donations from nationals living abroad.
Other limitations may also be envisaged. Such may consist notably of:
a. a maximum level for each contribution;
b. a prohibition of contributions from enterprises of an industrial, or commercial nature or from religious organisations;
c. prior control of contributions by members of parties who wish to stand as candidates in elections by public organs specialised in electoral matters.
7 The transparency of private financing of each party should be guaranteed. In achieving this aim, each party should make public each year the annual accounts of the previous year, which should incorporate a list of all donations other than membership fees. All donations exceeding an amount fixed by the legislator must be recorded and made public.

Article 2 Definition of donation to a political party
Donation means any deliberate act to bestow advantage, economic or otherwise, on a political party.

Article 3 General principles on donations
a. Measures taken by states governing donations to political parties should provide specific rules to:
– avoid conflicts of interests;
– ensure transparency of donations and avoid secret donations;
– avoid prejudice to the activities of political parties;
– ensure the independence of political parties.

b. States should:
i. provide that donations to political parties are made public, in particular, donations exceeding a fixed ceiling;
ii. consider the possibility of introducing rules limiting the value of donations to political parties;
iii. adopt measures to prevent established ceilings from being circumvented.

Article 4 Tax deductibility of donations
Fiscal legislation may allow tax deductibility of donations to political parties. Such tax deductibility should be limited.

Article 5 Donations by legal entities
a. In addition to the general principles on donations, states should provide:
i. that donations from legal entities to political parties are registered in the books and accounts of the legal entities; and
ii. that shareholders or any other individual member of the legal entity be informed of donations.
b. States should take measures aimed at limiting, prohibiting or otherwise strictly regulating donations from legal entities which provide goods or services for any public administration.
c. States should prohibit legal entities under the control of the state or of other public authorities from making donations to political parties.

Article 6 Donations to entities connected with a political party
Rules concerning donations to political parties, with the exception of those concerning tax deductibility referred to in Article 4, should also apply, as appropriate, to all entities which are related, directly or indirectly, to a political party or are otherwise under the control of a political party.

Article 7 Donations from foreign donors
States should specifically limit, prohibit or otherwise regulate donations from foreign donors.

Careful consideration should be given to the benefits of state funding of parties and= candidates and to the encouragement of citizens' participation through small donations and membership fees. Consideration should also be given to limiting corporate and foreign support, as well as large individual donations. To control the demand for political
financing, mechanisms such as spending limits and subsidised access to the media should be considered.

Donations to political parties, candidates and elected officials should not be a means to gain personal or policy favours or buy access to politicians or civil servants.

  • Venēcijas komisijas 2009.gada viedoklis par Kirgīzijas Politisko partiju likumprojektu:

45. Article 17 of the Draft Law prohibits certain forms of funding of political parties by banning a number of possible sources of funding. These bans are compatible with normal democratic and constitutional principles. Probably there is an excessive emphasis on the bans on all forms of foreign donations, but this is a political choice. The Draft Law also contains two clearly anti-corruption measures: the ban on anonymous donations and the ban on recently established legal personalities to donate money.

1. Sources
40. A political party may ask its members to pay dues, the amount of which it is free to fix, although the latter must not be discriminatory in nature. Non payment of dues may constitute grounds for expulsion from the party.
41. A party may receive donations within the limits of domestic law, which may prohibit donations from certain sources. By no means may parties interpret private donations as granting any possibility to influence and/or alter the party programme and/or party policies. Parties must adhere to laws that require disclosing the origin of private donations to parties.
[…]
2. Restrictions
43. No party may receive clandestine or fraudulently obtained financial aid.

  • Venēcijas Komisijas viedoklis par partiju finansēšanas no ārvalstu ziedojumiem aizliegumu

32. With regard to the different approaches in member States to the problem of the financing of political parties in general, there cannot be only one answer to the question to what extent the prohibition of a foreign political party financing a political party may be considered “necessary in a democratic society”. Old legislative decisions imposing too many restrictions on political parties – taken between the World Wars and during the Cold War – have to be reconsidered in the light of the situation in Europe as it has developed over the last 15 years. One argument for a much less restrictive approach is the experience of the co-operation of political parties within the many supranational organisations and institutions of Europe today. Co-operation of this kind is “necessary in a democratic society”. It is not obvious that the same can be said about the raising of obstacles to co-operation by restricting or prohibiting reasonable financial relations between political parties in different countries or at the national level on the one hand and at the European or a regional level on the other. With regard to the European Convention on Human Rights the mere fact that there are financial relations between political parties cannot as such, justify a reduction of human rights protection.
33. There could be a number of reasons for the prohibition of contributions from foreign political parties. Such prohibition may be considered necessary in a democratic society, for example, if financing from foreign sources:
- is used to pursue aims not compatible with the Constitution and the laws of the country (for example, the foreign political party advocates discrimination and violations of human rights);

- undermines the fairness or integrity of political competition or leads to distortions of the electoral process or poses a threat to national territorial integrity;

- is part of international obligations of the State;

- inhibits responsive democratic development.
34. In order to establish whether the prohibition of financing from abroad is problematic in the light of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights every individual case has to be considered separately in the context of the general legislation on financing of parties as well as of the international obligations of a State and among these the obligations emanating from membership of the European Union.

Partiju tēriņu "griesti"

States should impose limits on the maximum expenditure permitted during election campaigns, given that in the absence of an upper threshold on expenditure there are no limits to the escalation of costs, which is an incentive for parties to intensify their search for funds.

B Electoral Campaigns
8 In order to ensure equality of opportunities for the different political forces, electoral campaign expenses shall be limited to a ceiling, appropriate to the situation in the country and fixed in proportion to the number of voters concerned.
9 The State should participate in campaign expenses through funding equal to a certain percentage of the above ceiling or proportional to the number of votes obtained. This contribution may however be refused to parties who do not reach a certain threshold of votes.

Article 9 Limits on expenditure
States should consider adopting measures to prevent excessive funding needs of political parties, such as, establishing limits on expenditure on electoral campaigns.

44. For the purposes of financing electoral campaigns, parties must make sure that their candidates comply with current regulations, particularly where there is a ceiling on electoral expenditure.

49. The Election Law has been amended to remove a spending limit for campaign expenditure. While the OSCE/ODIHR has previously recommended an increase in the spending limit for elections,[26] the total removal of spending limits may be counterproductive. The removal of the spending limit, coupled with the 2,5 mln. Ukrainian hryvnas (approximately 206,000 EUR) electoral deposit (reimbursable only to the winner or the two run-off candidates), may limit presidential candidacy to a handful of wealthy elite. Although a candidate may be able to pay the electoral deposit, the candidate’s chance of success may be significantly diminished by a wealthy opponent unconstrained by any legal limit on spending. A candidate should not be forced to rely on political party structures for financial support since both OSCE commitments and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights recognize the right to be a candidate independently of political party affiliation or support. The OSCE/ODIHR and the VeniceCommission recommend consideration of reinstating a spending limit which can help ensure a level playing field while being sufficiently high to allow for the free conduct of campaigning.

  • Venēcijas komisijas labas prakses kodekss vēlēšanu jautājumos un tam pievienotais skaidrojošais memorands:

The principle of equality of opportunity can, in certain cases, lead to a limitation of political party spending, especially on advertising.

109. Transparency operates at two levels. The first concerns campaign funds, the details of which must be set out in a special set of carefully maintained accounts. In the event of significant deviations from the norm or if the statutory expenditure ceilings are exceeded, the election must be annulled.

Partiju finanšu kontrole

States should establish independent auditing bodies endowed with sufficient powers to supervise the accounts of political parties and the expenses linked to electoral campaigns.

15 The above-mentioned rules including the imposition of sanctions shall be enforced by the election judge (constitutional or other) in accordance with the law.

V. Supervision
Article 14 Independent monitoring
a. States should provide for independent monitoring in respect of the funding of political parties and electoral campaigns.
b. The independent monitoring should include supervision over the accounts of political parties and the expenses involved in election campaigns as well as their presentation and publication.

Article 15 Specialised personnel
States should promote the specialisation of the judiciary, police or other personnel in the fight against illegal funding of political parties and electoral campaigns.

Civil society should actively participate in promoting adequate legislation in the field of political finance and in the monitoring of political finance and its impact on political representation. The legal framework, both regulatory and institutional, must enable civil society organisations, in conjunction with independent media, to undertake such activities. This framework should also provide access to information, the opportunity for civil society input on pending legislation, and legal remedies, among other measures.

45. Every political party should include in its statutes mechanisms for audits of its accounts at the national level and for supervising accounting on any regional and local levels. It must also be subject to the State authorities’ audit, especially in the field of financing.

84. Article 48, par. 101, amended in March 2008, requires the CEC to establish a financial monitoring group, tasked with monitoring the financial reports which all election subjects are required to submit during the election period to election commissions. In the 2008 parliamentary elections, the effectiveness of this monitoring group was limited, due to the fact that its mandate is not defined in the Election Code, with the result that there was internal confusion about the scope of its responsibilities. It is recommended that the Election Code clearly define the role and responsibilities of this financial committee that oversees compliance with the rules laid down for campaign financing.

Sankcijas

In the case of a violation of the legislation, political parties should be subject to meaningful sanctions, including the partial or total loss or mandatory reimbursement of state contributions and the imposition of fines. When individual responsibility is established, sanctions should include the annulment of the elected mandate or a period of ineligibility.

C. Control and sanctions
13 Any irregularity in the financing of a political party shall entail sanctions proportionate to the severity of the offence that may consist of the loss of all or part of public financing for the following year.
14 Any irregularity in the financing of an electoral campaign shall entail, for the party or candidate at fault, sanctions proportionate to the severity of the offence that may consist of the loss or the total or partial reimbursement of the public contribution, the payment of a fine or another financial sanction or the annulment of the election.

Article 16 Sanctions
States should require the infringement of rules concerning the funding of political parties and electoral campaigns to be subject to effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions.

Trešās personas

Eiropas Padomes Parlamentārās asamblejas 2001.gada rekomendācija Nr.1516, F paragrāfs: The legislation on financing political parties and on electoral campaigns should also apply to entities related to political parties, such as political foundations.

Partiju komercdarbība

  • Venēcijas komisijas 2009.gada viedoklis par Kirgīzijas Politisko partiju likumprojektu:

48. […] Generally, it is not advisable for political parties to own networks of firms and companies, since this leads to patronage and (possibly) corruption, and distracts the party officials from their main activities. If parties rely on their own companies for financing, it would be better to discontinue the practice and to substitute it with forms of state aid to compensate for the initial financial shock.

Administratīvo resursu izmantošana

Article 16 – Political or public activity
1. Subject to respect for fundamental and constitutional rights, the public official should take care that none of his or her political activities or involvement on political or public debates impairs the confidence of the public and his or her employers in his or her ability to perform his or her duties impartially and loyally.
2. In the exercise of his or her duties, the public official should not allow himself or herself to be used for partisan political purposes.
3. The public official should comply with any restrictions on political activity lawfully imposed on certain categories of public officials by reason of their position or the nature of their duties.

Article 13 – Conflict of interest
1. Conflict of interest arises from a situation in which the public official has a private interest which is such as to influence, or appear to influence, the impartial and objective performance of his or her official duties.
2. The public official's private interest includes any advantage to himself or herself, to his or her family, close relatives, friends and persons or organisations with whom he or she has or has had business or political relations. It includes also any liability, whether financial or civil, relating thereto.
3. Since the public official is usually the only person who knows whether he or she is in that situation, the public official has a personal responsibility to:
- be alert to any actual or potential conflict of interest;
- take steps to avoid such conflict;
- disclose to his or her supervisor any such conflict as soon as he or she becomes aware of it;
- comply with any final decision to withdraw from the situation or to divest himself or herself of the advantage causing the conflict.
4. Whenever required to do so, the public official should declare whether or not he or she has a conflict of interest.
5. Any conflict of interest declared by a candidate to the public service or to a new post in the public service should be resolved before appointment.

42. Where legislation foresees public funding ,political parties must have access to it subject to possible minimum requirements. The latter must be reasonable and non-discriminatory. Apart from different forms of funding provided for by law, any party must refrain from receiving assistance, financial or in kind, from any public authorities, particularly those directed by its members.
53. Party members should clearly distinguish between their allegiance to the party and their office duties. Implementation of the party programme is inherent to the notion of democratic election, but this must always be framed within the existing legislation concerning the exercise of public offices. Normally, national regulations prohibit public officers from abusing or seeking advantage of their ruling position to create discriminatory conditions for other political forces. But even when these obligations are not explicitly spelt out, their respect is consistent with the principles of this Code and their breach may be considered illegal.
55. Political corruption is generally considered to be a type of crime by all European legislations. Parties must therefore aim to fight corruption not only because of its criminal dimension, but also because widespread political corruption erodes the trust of citizens in parties in general. This threatens the whole democratic process.[14] Hence, mechanisms for the prevention of political corruption, such as ethical codes for party members in public offices, are welcome. Additionally, if the membership of a person who has been condemned on corruption charges is maintained, this will lead citizens to believe that the whole party is corrupt (and they may even extend this view to apply to all parties) and contributes to questioning the fairness of politics in general. Therefore, the exclusion from office of candidatures and from party membership of persons convincted for corruption is fully coherent with basic democratic principles.

Venēcijas komisijas mediju analīzes vadlīnijas:

16. While political parties and candidates enjoy the right of access to the media, they should not abuse it. Politicians should be aware that their right of access to the media should not limit or be detrimental to the freedom of expression of journalists. One of the basic principles underlying the freedom of expression of journalists is real editorial independence from pressure on the part of governmental or private interest groups or state agencies. Above all, media owners or managers linked to political parties should not abuse their positions to put pressure on journalists to favour a particular political party or candidate.

Venēcijas komisijas mediju analīzes vadlīnijas:

The advantage of the incumbent
54. Being part of the government means more attention from the media because of their need to cover the activities of the government, which may include official events, meetings, and the implementation of policies. Events can be genuine and relevant (such as national celebrations or anniversaries), genuine but marginal (such as the opening of public buildings), and pseudo-events (occasions created or managed by the government with the aim of getting better or wider media coverage). The government is also the main policy maker, and coverage is necessary to keep the public informed.
55. Members of the executive should act in the interest of the whole nation, but, on the other hand, they regularly represent a political party. This dual identity becomes particularly problematic during an election campaign in relation to two rights:
· The right of equal opportunity to access for candidates, a right that has to be balanced with the freedom and obligation of the media to cover government activities;
· The right to equal treatment for candidates. News related to the incumbent government may sometimes be framed in a positive light because of the kind of events covered (for example, official meetings, international summits, etc.).

Use of Official Position and Administrative Resources
50. Firstly, Article 76 par. 1 allows use of administrative resources for campaign purposes – that is, the provision allows use of state-funded buildings, communication means, and vehicles provided that equal access is given to all election subjects. On the face of it, this provision appears to adhere to the equal opportunity principle. However, this provision could not be workable in practice due to easier access of the ruling party to various facilities and resources such as telephones, computers, vehicles, etc. Moreover, paragraph 2 of Article 76 allows public servants to use their official vehicles for purposes of campaigning.
51. Secondly, Article 761, par. 2, allows political officials[25] to combine campaign activities in support (or against) electoral subjects with the conduct of their official duties, thus blurring the line between the state and political parties. These provisions fall short of OSCE commitments[26]. Although Article 761 prohibits public servants (not political officials) from using their official position for purposes of campaign activities, in the 2008 parliamentary elections, the election administration and courts took a very narrow view of what constitutes campaigning, thus permitting public servants to engage in some level of campaigning while conducting official duties. In addition, during the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections there were instances of Government initiatives being combined with campaign activities.
52. It is thus recommended to reconsider the March 2008 amendment allowing political officials to combine campaigning with official duties. Similarly, Government initiatives should not be mixed with campaign activities. Such prohibitions are needed in order to avoid the violation of equality of opportunities among the contestants, and to ensure implementation of paragraph 5.4 of the 1990 OSCE Copenhagen Document.
53. The Election Code should also prohibit the direct or indirect use of all types of administrative resources – financial, material, technical, and human resources – for campaign purposes by election subjects, public officials, or other campaigners.
54. Moreover, it is recommended that the Election Code provide that all restrictive campaign provisions, such as vote buying and campaigning by public servants or political officials, take effect as of the announcement of elections.
[26] Paragraphs 5.4 and 7.6 of the 1990 OSCE Copenhagen Document; the former calls for a clear separation between the State and political parties and the latter commits the state to “provide…necessary legal guarantees to enable [political parties] to compete with each other on the basis of equal treatment before the law and by the authorities.”

38. The separation of state resources from party and/ or candidate resources has been a chronic problem cited in every OSCE/ ODIHR election report since 1996.[12] The governing party network controls not only national government but also the governors' offices and local self government in most regions. During a national election, the resources that are under the control of these offices are called into play to campaign on behalf of the government candidates. This creates a disparity in resources available with the added problem of creating the perception that employees are obligated to work for, attend rallies on behalf of and vote for the government candidates for fear of their employment. This practice is neither in conformity with the Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters, where the principle of equality of opportunity entails a neutral attitude by state authorities[13] nor with OSCE commitments which call for a separation of party and State and campaigning on the basis of equal treatment.[14] Some changes to the current code could serve to clearly delineate the line between state and party resources.
39. For example, Article 18(4) restricts campaigning by various individuals or bodies, including national and local self government bodies and their employees as well as foreign citizens’ organizations. This clause should be clarified to include that those in the enumerated list are prohibited from being the recipient of campaigning and cannot be campaigners in their official capacity. National and local self government bodies and their employees should not campaign on behalf of a candidate or party in their official capacity. This would be consistent with the provisions of Article 22.1 which prohibit candidates who are in political or discretionary positions from using their office or other administrative resources for campaign purposes. Consideration should be given to include a more explicit prohibition of the use of administrative resources in general and by candidates and others involved in campaigning.
40. Article 78(1) provides that presidential candidates “who are in state service or work in local self-government bodies shall be relieved of their duties at work and shall have no right to make use of the advantages of their position”. This article raised significant controversy during the 2008 presidential election campaign as to whether the Prime Minister, who was standing as a presidential candidate, was required to resign or take a leave of absence. When the Code was drafted in 1999, this article was designed to create an exception in the case when the sitting president stood for re-election or the acting president (defined under the constitution as either the Prime Minister or the Speaker of the National Assembly) could continue in the office of president while campaigning. In 2002, the Law on Civil Service introduced the concept of professional civil service, as opposed to state service. This new definition of civil service referred only to professional civil servants and does not include those in political offices. Article 78 was not amended to reflect the new definition of civil service. In the 2008 presidential election, the prime minister did not take a leave of absence while campaigning for presidential office relying on a clarification made by the CEC interpreting the article to permit the prime minister to continue in his official function. It is recommended that Article 78 should be amended for greater clarity.
41. Article 18(1) provides that state bodies should ensure that candidates have access free of charge to halls and premises. This has been interpreted by the authorities to refer only to national government premises and not to premises of local authorities. The article should be amended to include all levels of government and to ensure that parties and candidates may have access to state premises at all levels on an equal basis and free of charge or at a reasonable price.
42. Article 21(2) provides that community leaders shall provide special places in their community for placement of campaign posters and that candidates and parties shall be provided with an equal amount of space. The provision does not specify whether this space is provided free of charge and was inconsistently applied in the 2008 presidential election. The Article should be amended to ensure that such space is provided under the same and reasonable conditions to all parties and candidates. In addition, it should prohibit posters and political materials from being posted on public government buildings such as local self government offices, hospitals, schools etc.

Venēcijas komisijas labas prakses kodekss vēlēšanu jautājumos un tam pievienotais skaidrojošais memorands

a. Equality of opportunity must be guaranteed for parties and candidates alike. This entails a neutral attitude by state authorities, in particular with regard to:
i. the election campaign;
ii. coverage by the media, in particular by the publicly owned media;
iii. public funding of parties and campaigns.
18. Equality of opportunity should be ensured between parties and candidates and should prompt the state to be impartial towards them and to apply the same law uniformly to all. In particular, the neutrality requirement applies to the electoral campaign and coverage by the media, especially the publicly owned media, as well as to public funding of parties and campaigns. This means that there are two possible interpretations of equality: either “strict” equality or “proportional” equality. “Strict” equality means that the political parties are treated without regard to their present strength in parliament or among the electorate. It must apply to the use of public facilities for electioneering purposes (for example bill posting, postal services and similar, public demonstrations, public meeting rooms). “Proportional” equality implies that the treatment of political parties is in proportion to the number of votes. Equality of opportunity (strict and/or proportional) applies in particular to radio and television airtime, public funds and other forms of backing. Certain forms of backing may on the one hand be submitted to strict equality and on the other hand to proportional equality.

  • Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācija par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

2. Print media outlets owned by public authorities
Member States should adopt measures whereby print media outlets which are owned by public authorities, when covering electoral campaigns, should do so in a fair, balanced and impartial manner, without discriminating against or supporting a specific political party or candidate.
If such media outlets accept paid political advertising in their publications, they should ensure that all political contenders and parties that request the purchase of advertising space are treated in an equal and non-discriminatory manner.

Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācija par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

1. Non-interference by public authorities
Public authorities should refrain from interfering in the activities of journalists and other media personnel with a view to influencing the elections.

Partiju iekšējā kontrole

Transparency International 2005.gada rekomendācijas:

Parties and candidates must themselves practise transparency and demonstrate commitment to ethical standards in public life.

Nauda referendumos

Venēcijas komisijas labas prakses kodekss referendumu jautājumos un tā skaidrojošais memorands:

a. The general rules on the funding of political parties and electoral campaigns must be applied to both public and private funding.
b. The use of public funds by the authorities for campaigning purposes must be prohibited

24. National rules on both public and private funding of political parties and election campaigns must be applicable to referendum campaigns (point II.3.4.a). As in the case of elections, funding must be transparent, particularly when it comes to campaign accounts. In the event of a failure to abide by the statutory requirements, for instance if the cap on spending is exceeded by a significant margin, the vote must be annulled[19]. It should be pointed out that the principle of equality of opportunity applies to public funding; equality should be ensured between a proposal’s supporters and opponents (point I.2.2.d).
25. There must be no use of public funds by the authorities for campaigning purposes, in order to guarantee equality of opportunity and the freedom of voters to form an opinion (point II.3.4.b, cf. point I.3.1.b).


Priekšvēlēšanu aģitācija

Venēcijas komisijas 2006.gada ziņojums par Eiropas vēlēšanu likumiem:

90. As for the pre-election period, the basic idea is that the political parties and candidates should act on a “level playing field”. According to Code of Good Practice in Electoral Matters, equality of opportunities should be ensured between different parties and candidates, at least as far as possible. It should prompt the state to be impartial towards parties and candidates and to uniformly apply the same law to all. This neutrality requirement applies to the electoral campaign and coverage by the media, especially the state media, as well as to public funding of parties and campaigns where relevant. Furthermore, it is important that political campaigning is conducted in an environment that assures freedom of movement, expression, association, and assembly. These freedoms must be safeguarded to allow political organising and campaigning, and to inform citizens about the parties, candidates and issues. The parties and candidates must have the freedom to convey their programmes and political positions to the voters throughout the country.

Vārda brīvība priekšvēlēšanu kampaņā

45. Article 62 severely restricts the number of candidate debates permitted on television by limiting each candidate to one debate in a three hour period. Article 62 is contrary to international standards and OSCE commitments regarding freedom of opinion and expression.[21] This Article creates an overly burdensome limit on freedom of expression by prohibiting all media, including private media, from allowing candidates to engage in debates in media beyond a single occasion during one three hour period. This suppression of the exchange of political views during an election is unwarranted. It is true that according to the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights the freedom of expression may be limited before elections (Bowman v. Great Britain[22]); however, the regulation in Ukraine goes far beyond what may be “necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary”. The OSCE/ODIHR and the VeniceCommission recommend that Article 62 be reformulated so that candidate debates are not so severely restricted.

Venēcijas komisijas mediju analīzes vadlīnijas:

48. The most important aspect of regulating the media during elections is to find the right balance between respect for editorial independence and the need for certain rules to guarantee fairness by the media. Voluntary measures adopted by media professionals themselves, in particular in the form of codes of conduct or internal guidelines on good practice for responsible and fair coverage of electoral campaigns, are useful complements to state legislation or rules.
49. The legal and electoral background is the result of a variety of national traditions and practices. No universal model could produce the same results in different contexts. However, there are some basic principles that should inform the set of rules, practices, and behaviours for the legal framework and election regulation.
[…]
50. Within the electoral process, the state, and particularly the government, has a dual responsibility:
· Not to interfere unduly in the activities of the media and not to impede journalists in their functions; and
· To guarantee pluralism and uphold the right to freedom of the media.

[…]

52. A persistent problem during an election campaign is how far the media should be regulated in their coverage of candidates and parties. Media coverage of elections involves diverse and complex issues that can be handled both by regulation or self-regulation, or even left unregulated.
53. One issue that needs to be addressed is whether external regulation or self-regulation is required. Journalists do not usually favour any kind of external restrictions or impositions limiting their editorial freedom. On the other hand, the autonomy of the media system may not be sufficiently established as to be able to safeguard journalists and editors from the pressures and influence of the political authorities. In such cases, external regulation may guarantee the rights of voters and candidates to receive and impart information.

  • Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācija par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

1. Freedom of the press
Regulatory frameworks on media coverage of elections should not interfere with the editorial independence of newspapers or magazines nor with their right to express any political preference.

Mediju pienākumi pirms vēlēšanām

14. Voters should be provided with all the information they need to exercise their right to vote. The right of voters to make an informed choice implies that the media should inform them in a professional and accurate manner of the platforms and views of the different candidates and of the events of the electoral campaign and the electoral process, including the vote count and election results. Also, the media should assist in explaining to the electorate how to exercise their right to political participation, particularly how to vote.
[…]
15. Candidates and parties have the right to communicate their platforms and their views. Politicians should have access to the media to inform the electorate about their policies and opinions on matters of public interest. The media also provide an arena in which candidates can debate. Candidates can be covered in a variety of formats and can have access to the media in a number of ways; what really matters is that they should have equal opportunity to inform the voters about their policies and that there is no discrimination against them. Candidates have the right of reply to statements or reports in the media, which were inaccurate or offensive, and to be able to exercise that right during the election campaign.

  • Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācija par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos:

The principles of fairness, balance and impartiality in the coverage of election campaigns by the media should apply to all types of political elections taking place in member States, that is, presidential, legislative, regional and, where practicable, local elections and political referenda.
These principles should also apply, where relevant, to media reporting on elections taking place abroad, especially when these media address citizens of the country where the election is taking place.

Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācija par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

3. The right of reply
Given the short duration of an election campaign, any candidate or political party which is entitled to a right of reply under national law or systems should be able to exercise this right during the campaign period.

Skaidrojošais memorands, kas pievienots Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācijai par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

The right of reply
The right of reply is ensured in most countries by press, broadcasting or other legislation as well as by professional codes of practice. The Recommendation stresses that if a candidate or political party is entitled to the right of reply under national laws or systems, it should be ensured that this right can be exercised during the campaign period, including on reflection day if the right of reply can not otherwise be exercised.
A specific procedure to guarantee a rapid/urgent right of reply is not mentioned in the Recommendation since it is considered that member States should choose the mechanism which is best adapted to their national context. On some occasions this may be a summary court proceeding, whilst at other times it may be the press or broadcasting self-regulatory body or even an electoral commission which are entrusted with powers to resolve cases involving the granting of the right to a rapid reply.

Pieeja medijiem/redakcionālā neatkarība

  • Starpparlamentu Savienības (Inter-Parliamentary Union) 1994.gada deklarācija par brīvu un vienlīdzīgu vēlēšanu kritērijiem (http://www.ipu.org/cnl-e/154-free.htm trešā panta ceturtais punkts un ceturtā panta trešais un ceturtais punkts):

(4) Every candidate for election and every political party shall have an equal opportunity of access to the media, particularly the mass
communications media, in order to put forward their political views.
[…]
(4) In order that elections shall be fair, States should take the necessary measures to ensure that parties and candidates enjoy reasonable opportunities to present their electoral platform.

17. The media have the freedom to inform the public about an election campaign and to express their opinions. One of the functions of the media, is to cover political issues in the most impartial way. The media should also have the freedom to cover all relevant election-related issues, including the work of the election administration, alternative policies and platforms, the activities of candidates, problems and incidents occurring during the election campaign, Election Day procedures, and the announcement of the election results. In addition, the media have the freedom to take an active role in the process of informing voters by offering them a diverse range of views, which include those of journalists and political analysts. The media should have the freedom to criticize politicians for their platforms or their public record. A number of factors determine to what extent the media succeed in informing the public in a correct, accurate, transparent, and balanced manner. Media managers and owners should accept the principles of journalistic ethics and independence, and they should not exert pressure on their employees to act at variance with these principles.

Venēcijas komisijas 2009.gada vērtējums par Ukrainas vēlēšanu likumu:

51. The Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR further recommend that the draft law makes a clearer distinction between private and state-owned mass media, generally referred within the law simply as “mass media”. Rules which may be effective in relation to state-owned mass media may be rather less effective when applied to mass media in private ownership. However, it is commendable that the draft law extends the principle of equal access from state owned media outlets to include private media, as long as such laws are narrowly constructed as to not impinge on freedom of expression.
[…]
53. Article 67.6 requires that “the mass media, their elected official, officeholder and free-lance workers are prohibited to propagate for or against parties, parliamentary candidates, or to spread the information, which has signs of political advertisement…” Such a broad restriction raises a question of compatibility with the right to editorial independence of the media[7]. Article 67.6 should be considered for revision to respect the right of editorial independence.

Venēcijas komisijas mediju analīzes vadlīnijas:

The norms regulating the media during an election campaign should be clearly stated and should leave no room for manipulation or misinterpretation. Regulation should be aimed primarily at protecting voters’ and candidates’ right to freedom of expression. Any limitations on media coverage should be imposed only for this purpose and should be proportionate to the objectives sought.
Areas of regulation may include elements that can unduly affect voters such as the dissemination of opinion polls, silence periods, hate speech, unequal access, and unfair treatment.
Regulations should not be overly restrictive, and they should not unnecessarily impede media in their reporting and news coverage. During the drafting process, party and media representatives should be consulted in order to produce a set of rules based on the consensus of all the actors involved.
Also, a system of self-regulation may be more advisable when conditions facilitate responsible and mature journalistic coverage.
[…]
51. Parties and candidates should also comply with certain fundamental duties in order to respect the freedom of the media. They should not interfere in the editorial policy of independent and public media by any direct or indirect means of pressure. They should respect the laws regulating the campaign and the media, including those provisions related to silence periods.

  • Eiropas Padomes Parlamentārās Asamblejas 2008.gada rezolūcija par mediju indikatoriem demokrātiskās valstīs:

8.5. political parties and candidates must have fair and equal access to the media. Their access to media shall be facilitated during election campaigns

Elektroniskie versus drukātie mediji

Venēcijas komisijas mediju analīzes vadlīnijas:

19. Electronic media are often subject to a higher degree of control by public authorities than print media. This is usually justified by two main arguments:
Ø The need to guarantee the fair allocation of limited public resources (airwaves and frequencies); and
Ø The need to impose a certain level of public obligation on broadcasters. Broadcast media (television in particular) are considered more than a simple tool of communication, as they are an essential instrument for promoting social, cultural, and political objectives. It is therefore important to regulate their activity, through self regulatory mechanisms (professional associations, codes of conduct etc.
20. The main difference within the electronic media is between those that are publicly and privately owned. This distinction has consequences for the degree of control and regulation imposed on them by public institutions.

  • Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācija par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

II. Measures concerning the broadcast media
1. General framework
During electoral campaigns, regulatory frameworks should encourage and facilitate the pluralistic expression of opinions via the broadcast media.
With due respect for the editorial independence of broadcasters, regulatory frameworks should also provide for the obligation to cover electoral campaigns in a fair, balanced and impartial manner in the overall programme services of broadcasters. Such an obligation should apply to both public service broadcasters as well as private broadcasters in their relevant transmission areas.
In member States where the notion of "pre-electoral time" is defined under domestic legislation, the rules on fair, balanced, and impartial coverage of electoral campaigns by the broadcast media should also apply to this period.
2. News and current affairs programmes
Where self-regulation does not provide for this, member States should adopt measures whereby public and private broadcasters, during the election period, should in particular be fair, balanced and impartial in their news and current affairs programmes, including discussion programmes such as interviews or debates.
No privileged treatment should be given by broadcasters to public authorities during such programmes. This matter should primarily be addressed via appropriate self-regulatory measures. As appropriate, member States might examine whether, where practicable, the relevant authorities monitoring the coverage of elections should be given the power to intervene in order to remedy possible shortcomings.
3. Other programmes
Special care should be taken with programmes other than news or current affairs which are not directly linked to the campaign but which may also have an influence on the attitude of voters.

  • Skaidrojošais memorands, kas pievienots Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācijai par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

Measures concerning the broadcast media
General framework
If pluralism considerations are taken into account by broadcasters, this will contribute to fair elections. This is the reason why it is recommended that regulatory frameworks should encourage and facilitate the pluralistic expression of opinions in the broadcast media. It is considered that if broadcasters adopt a pluralistic approach and reflect the different views of the political spectrum they can contribute to the information of voters and their free forming of opinions and thus to free and fair elections.
While the press have freedom in their reporting of elections, broadcasters generally have to follow a number of obligations at election time. The Recommendation therefore formulates, as a general prescription, that broadcasters should cover elections in a fair, balanced and impartial manner. This does not mean, of course, that each broadcasting channel (e.g. a thematic sports channel) is obliged to offer coverage of election campaigns; however, where coverage is provided, either voluntarily or under an obligation, it should be done in a fair, balanced and impartial manner. Giving equitable treatment to all parties involved in the election does not necessarily mean devoting equal time to all of them, but rather means ensuring that all significant viewpoints and political parties are heard from. It means upholding a democratic debate in the broadcast media. Political impartiality in broadcasting is considered essential to give a true and accurate picture of the progress and conduct of elections.
As a result of the above, the Recommendation indicates that frameworks in member States should include the principle of fair, balanced and impartial treatment of political parties by the broadcast media. Such type of principle already exists in the constitutions or legislation of a number of countries.
Despite the existence of legislation incorporating such a principle, it is nevertheless also recognised that the internal rules of broadcasters and professional codes of conduct, that is, all types of self-regulatory practices, will be the factors that largely determine how the election is actually covered.
The Recommendation underlines that the obligation to report elections in a fair, balanced and impartial manner should apply to both public service and private broadcasters. There is unanimity that publicly funded broadcasters should provide a complete and impartial picture of the political spectrum in the coverage of an election, given the remit of such broadcasters, which is to serve the public interest and offer a diverse, pluralistic and wide range of views at all times, especially during election periods.
As regards private broadcasters, it is considered that such broadcasters should also abide by impartiality principles given that they also play a significant role in influencing public opinion at the time of elections. Therefore, all private broadcasters, irrespective of their audience share, coverage area or whether they operate thematic or pay-channels, should be under impartiality obligations when they deal with elections. Nevertheless, it is acknowledged that this principle may in the future have to be reviewed, and exceptions to be considered, in case the multiplication of channels and changes in the role of the broadcast media would lead to a situation close to that which currently exists in the print media sector.
One final aspect that should be taken into account when speaking of the obligation of broadcasters to be fair, balanced and impartial is that such a principle should be tested over the whole programme service of a broadcaster, over a period of time, and not necessarily in every individual programme. It is during the overall campaign period that broadcasters must be balanced and represent the different political viewpoints.
In countries where the notion of pre-electoral time exists, this period is normally considered to comprise the time between the official announcement of the campaign (or the convocation of the elections which is published in the official gazette) and the actual opening of the electoral campaign. A significant number of countries do not, however, make a formal distinction between the pre-electoral period and the official campaign period.
It is not always easy to differentiate between electioneering and ‘normal’ political activity, and parties may try to convey their message to the public at all times, including during pre-electoral time. Therefore, it is sometimes considered that impartiality and non-discrimination by the broadcast media should similarly extend to such a period. A provision in this sense is included in the Recommendation with the goal of ensuring that these media are fair and balanced in their coverage of ‘normal’ news stories during the pre-electoral time, since such stories may result in electoral activity.

Standarti sabiedriskajiem medijiem

Candidates and parties should have fair access to the media. Standards for achieving balanced media coverage and media integrity must be established, applied and maintained. The media should play an independent and critical role, both in election campaigns and in the broader political process.
Instruments such as conflict of interest legislation should be used to prevent political control of public and private media from creating a bias in the coverage of politics.]

(3) States shall respect and ensure the human rights of all individuals within their territory and subject to their jurisdiction. In time of elections, the > State and its organs should therefore ensure:
That parties and candidates are free to communicate their views to the electorate, and that they enjoy equality of access to State and public service media;
That the necessary steps are taken to guarantee non-partisan coverage in State and public-service media.

Venēcijas komisijas mediju analīzes vadlīnijas:

21.The underlying idea of public-service broadcasting is that the private sector alone cannot ensure pluralism in the broadcast sphere. Public broadcasters tend to be held to higher standards of responsibility with respect to principles of universality, diversity, independence, distinctiveness from other kinds of broadcasters, and accountability. The stricter regulation imposed on these broadcasters is justified by the need to protect them from undue interference or control by the government, thus enabling journalists to freely operate according to their obligation to the public. In many countries, however, public or state broadcasting channels remain under tight government control.
22. While all media are expected to offer responsible and fair coverage, it is particularly incumbent upon state/public media to uphold more rigorous standards since they belong to all citizens. Using state/public media to promote a certain political party or candidate is therefore an illegitimate manipulation of the public. The state media are more vulnerable to such pressure from the authorities, especially in those countries where they have not yet been transformed into truly independent public-service broadcasters. State-controlled broadcasters are often paralyzed by frequent interference by the authorities.
23. Publicly funded broadcasters should provide a complete and impartial picture of the entire political spectrum in their coverage of an election, given that they are obliged to serve the public and offer a diverse, pluralistic, and wide range of views.

Venēcijas komisijas mediju analīzes vadlīnijas:

Public Media
· They should provide parties and candidates in elections with equal access and fair treatment. Coverage must follow criteria of balanced, pluralistic, and impartial reporting;
· They should comply with the provisions for election coverage as set by national legislation;
· Public media hould adhere to journalistic ethics and professional standards.

58. Articles 73 and 731, could also be improved as they are currently limited to providing conditions for contestants to convey messages and do not extend to coverage of contestants in the news or other programs. Further, the media should be more proactive in providing information on the election campaign and processes. It is recommended that Article 73 be amended to require the state-funded media to provide comprehensive information on all aspects of the election process through a variety of programs, outside the current free-of-charge slots, in order to create a forum of discussion for all contestants.

Standarti privātajiem medijiem

Venēcijas komisijas mediju analīzes vadlīnijas:

Private broadcasters
24. Although private broadcasters are commercial enterprises, they are generally asked to comply with certain obligations (particularly during an election campaign). The licence they are provided with, which is assigned on a periodic basis by a public authority, may include certain requirements in relation to news, information, and current-affairs programmes and voter education.
25. In any case, the relevance of private broadcasters as sources of information in an election campaign depends partly on the importance – in terms of penetration, coverage, and audience – of public broadcasters. For instance, where the public/state media are alone in covering the entire national territory while private broadcasters cover only limited geographical areas, the importance of the latter is limited. In contrast, in states with a weak tradition of public broadcasting, private broadcasters are likely to be the main source of election information for voters.
26. Private broadcasters should also abide by standards of impartiality in their news and current-affairs programmes. The primary role of private broadcasters is not to counterbalance biased coverage in the state media. Given their popularity, however, they may often supplement public media by offering a more diverse range of views.

B. The print media
27. Private print media are generally entitled to a larger degree of partisanship than the publicly financed press and the broadcasting media. Print media often play an even greater role than the electronic media in acting in the public interest as watchdogs and opinion makers. It is generally accepted that the press may explicitly express a political opinion. Also, the general practice of self-regulation adopted by the print media (through codes of conduct and press councils) can be interpreted as evidence that the press does not need to be bound by rules set by external bodies and that the media can be responsible for their own editorial choices. Therefore, even during an election period, print media have fewer obligations to be balanced towards candidates and political parties; they are subjected to less stringent regulation than electronic media.
28. The argument used to justify this position is that the print media do not benefit from a public and limited commodity such as airwaves. Therefore, their public obligation to impartiality and balance is commensurately less than that of the electronic media.

44. Article 11.2.6 of the law requires equal access for candidates to “mass media”. Further, Article 13.4 requires the “mass media” to cover the election process in an objective manner, and Article 60.1 requires equal conditions for candidates during the campaign “in the mass media of all forms of ownership”. These provisions are very broad and some qualification is required in relation to privately owned mass media. Generally, there is recognition that different rules apply for public and private media. Greater obligations can be placed on “state-owned” media, such as the requirement to provide free time to candidates. “Private” media generally cannot be compelled to present a political message or provide political coverage. Although private media can be required to provide equitable access and conditions to paid political advertising, the provisions of the Election Law go well beyond this basic principle. The OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission recommend that these provisions be amended to limit the obligation to provide election coverage and equal access to State mass media and the regulation of private media be limited to the area of paid political advertising and reasonable provisions related to the publication of opinion polls.

Venēcijas komisijas mediju analīzes vadlīnijas:

Private Electronic Media
· They should comply with the provisions for election coverage as set by national legislation;
· Private broadcasters should adhere to journalistic ethics and professional standards.
Private Print Media
· The press should comply with the provisions for election coverage as set by national legislation and to journalistic ethics and professional standards. Any regulations on media coverage of elections should not interfere with the editorial independence of newspapers and magazines or with their right to express a political preference.

  • Venēcijas komisijas labas prakses kodekssvēlēšanu jautājumos un tam pievienotais skaidrojošais memorands

In conformity with freedom of expression, legal provision should be made to ensure that there is a minimum access to privately owned audiovisual media, with regard to the election campaign and to advertising, for all participants in elections.
19. The basic idea is that the main political forces should be able to voice their opinions in the main organs of the country’s media and that all the political forces should be allowed to hold meetings, including on public thoroughfares, distribute literature and exercise their right to post bills. All of these rights must be clearly regulated, with due respect for freedom of expression, and any failure to observe them, either by the authorities or by the campaign participants, should be subject to appropriate sanctions. Quick rights of appeal must be available in order to remedy the situation before the elections. But the fact is that media failure to provide impartial information about the election campaign and candidates is one of the most frequent shortcomings arising during elections. The most important thing is to draw up a list of the media organisations in each country and to make sure that the candidates or parties are accorded sufficiently balanced amounts of airtime or advertising space, including on state radio and television stations.

  • Skaidrojošais memorands, kas pievienots Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācijai par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

Measures concerning the print media
In general, there are no special regulations for the press on the reporting or editorial coverage of elections in Council of Europe member States. On the basis of tradition and due to the different nature of the print and the broadcast media, the press is free to have a distinct political leaning. The way the public has access to and is influenced by the press differs significantly compared to the broadcast media.
Despite the above, there is one situation where a regulatory framework for the print media at election time is justified: when a public authority owns the print media outlet. Since such media are controlled by public authorities, it seems logical that they should be under the obligation of offering a broad perspective representing the whole range of political views. This does not include official State gazettes, which only publish legislation, statistics or other factual information.
Paid advertising in the print media is a common practice in Europe, and as a result newspaper owners are in principle free to accept or refuse advertising requests from political parties, subject to the application of relevant general rules, in particular concerning competition. The Recommendation nevertheless considers that when a public authority owns a newspaper, equal treatment and non-discriminatory tariffs should be applied to all political parties that request the purchase of advertising space. Again, the rationale behind this exception is that such outlets should fulfil a “public service mission” and treat the different political parties on an equal footing as regards paid advertising.

Ārzemju medijiem

46. Article 64.12 bans campaigning in “the foreign mass media, which operate on the territory of Ukraine.” This restriction implies that candidates would be barred from issuing campaign statements or advertisements aimed at Ukrainian voters residing abroad. The ability to present a candidate’s platform to voters is an inextricable part of the right to be elected. If such a provision unduly limits the ability of candidates to reach voters residing abroad, then it should be reconsidered. More generally, such a rule would also appear to violate the citizen’s right to receive and impart information regardless of frontiers as set out in paragraph 26.1 of the OSCE Moscow Document.[23] The OSCE/ODIHR and the VeniceCommission recommend to reconsider this provision.

Jaunajiem medijiem

Venēcijas komisijas mediju analīzes vadlīnijas:

The Internet and other new media: a general perspective
29. As a result of the emergence of new media and communication technologies, a new phase for political communication has radically changed relations among candidates and voters.
30. The new media offer political parties and candidates opportunities to diversify their campaigns for different target audiences in a very simple and effective way. A net-cast model, opposed to the traditional broadcast model, facilitates the dissemination of specific messages to certain segments of the population. There is similar potential in the use of text messages to mobile telephones, a technique that political campaigners in some countries are beginning to exploit.
31. The Internet has undoubtedly widened the possibilities of informing a larger section of the population by creating more opportunities for ordinary voters to generate political news and opinions. On the technical side, election authorities are already using the Internet to publicize information about the electoral process, including voters lists, complaints received, vote tabulation, and the announcement of results.
32. Although the potential is enormous, social inequalities still limit the impact of new technologies. The digital divide – unequal access to new technologies because of cultural and economic factors – is still an undeniable obstacle to regular use of the Internet. The same applies to a lesser degree to the use of mobile telephones in political communications. These are more widely available in poorer countries and in poorer sections of the population, often because of the limited availability of landlines (which is itself one of the factors limiting Internet access).
33. A potentially controversial issue related to the role and obligations of the Internet in the electoral process deals with what regulations should be imposed on websites, particularly with regard to silence periods and opinion polls. The matter is part of a wider debate about the degree of freedom the Internet should enjoy and the extent to which regulations can realistically be applied to this medium. In general, any control over the freedom of Internet users and publishers has been widely frowned upon. The World Wide Web is a pluralistic and unlimited media environment accessible to everyone. It remains largely unregulated, and many argue that it is neither possible nor desirable to regulate it.
34. The potential strength of the Internet has been evidenced by the frequent attempts by certain regimes to control access to the World Wide Web through a variety of mechanisms, such as direct state ownership of Internet providers, control of their archives, or efforts to obstruct access to “politically subversive” websites. Also, the content providers of many websites may be subject to the same pressures as journalists in the traditional media.

Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 2007.gada rekomendācijai par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

The term “media” refers to those responsible for the periodic creation of information and content and its dissemination over which there is editorial responsibility, irrespective of the means and technology used for delivery, which are intended for reception by, and which could have a clear impact on, a significant proportion of the general public. This could, inter alia, include print media (newspapers, periodicals) and media disseminated over electronic communication networks, such as broadcast media (radio, television and other linear audiovisual media services), online news-services (such as online editions of newspapers and newsletters) and non-linear audiovisual media services (such as on-demand television).

Ierobežojumi sabiedriskās domas aptaujām

47. The 15-day pre-election ban on publishing opinion polls is unusually long (Article 64.13). The OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission recommend that this silence period for opinion polls be significantly shortened to be brought in line with internationally accepted principles for the length of such silence periods.[24] The amendment of this provision is particularly important given the law on parliamentary elections has reduced the length of the ban on publication of opinion polls to 24 hours.[25] Ideally, the laws on presidential and parliamentary elections should contain similar provisions on limitation of publication of opinion polls.

  • Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācija par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

2. Opinion polls
Regulatory or self-regulatory frameworks should ensure that the media, when disseminating the results of opinion polls, provide the public with sufficient information to make a judgement on the value of the polls. Such information could, in particular :
- name the political party or other organisation or person which commissioned and paid for the poll;
- identify the organisation conducting the poll and the methodology employed;
- indicate the sample and margin of error of the poll;
- indicate the date and/or period when the poll was conducted.
All other matters concerning the way in which the media present the results of opinion polls should be decided by the media themselves.
Any restriction by member States forbidding the publication/broadcasting of opinion polls (on voting intentions) on voting day or a number of days before the election should comply with Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, as interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights.
Similarly, in respect of exit polls, member States may consider prohibiting reporting by the media on the results of such polls until all polling stations in the country have closed.

Skaidrojošais memorands, kas pievienots Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācijai par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

Opinion polls
Despite the fact that it is difficult to show the extent to which opinion polls have an impact on the actual results of an election, it is nevertheless generally assumed that opinion polls do or can have a certain degree of influence on the outcome of elections.
In order therefore to ensure fairness and avoid undue influence on the electorate, it is considered that the media, when reporting the results of opinion polls, should provide the public with sufficient information to make a judgement on the value of the polls. In this respect, the Recommendation suggests a number of elements which could be provided by the media at the time of releasing the poll results: the name of the party or organisation that commissioned the poll, the name and methodology employed by the pollster, the sample and margin of error and the date the poll was conducted. It is acknowledged that this is a topic that should mainly be addressed via self-regulation and that it is internal media guidelines which should specify how opinion polls should be reported.
Some countries have regulations restricting the dissemination of poll results on the day or the immediate days preceding the election. As with the general prohibition of electoral activity on ‘reflection day’, the reasoning behind such rules is to enable the public to take a decision on their vote without external influences, such as the predicted results which opinion polls indicate. However, other Council of Europe member States have no rules in this area and the media may report poll results right up to the election.
The Recommendation leaves space for different national practices regarding the publication of opinion polls, but mentions that if member states choose to forbid the publication of opinion polls a certain period of days before the election, such a restriction should comply with Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights. In line with the general approach developed by the European Court of Human Rights, three criteria will have to be met for any limitation on the publication of opinion polls to be valid: the prohibition to publish opinion polls should be set down in a law, be necessary in a democratic society and be proportionate to the aim of protecting another interest.
The effectiveness of silence rules for opinion polls is sometimes questioned, given that the public may obtain poll results, not necessarily from the media to which restrictions apply, but by other means, such as by accessing Internet or from foreign newspapers or broadcasters. Given this fact, it is considered that restrictive rules in this area should be avoided, and that the duration of the prohibition to publish opinion polls should not be excessive.
As regards exit polls, which are conducted outside polling stations on voting day and assess what people have actually voted, it is suggested that member States consider the possibility of prohibiting the dissemination of such poll results until all polling stations have closed, given that they could have an influence on the outcome of the elections.

Venēcijas komisijas 2009.gada vērtējums par Ukrainas vēlēšanu likumu:

56. The draft law significantly lowers the blackout period during which opinion polls cannot be published by the media. This change is a positive improvement that adopts a previous recommendation of the OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission. The previous blackout period was during the last 15 days before elections. Under the draft law, the restriction comes into effect at 24:00 hours on the Friday before Election Day (Article 67.18). This change resects previous recommendations and has brought the restriction of publication of opinion polls in line with internationally accepted principals for the length of a silence period.

Venēcijas komisijas mediju analīzes vadlīnijas:

63. It is difficult to measure the actual impact of opinion polls on the results of an election. In order to avoid undue influence on voters, however, the media should offer the public adequate information to make a judgement on the value of opinion polls: the name of the party or organization that commissioned the poll, the name and methodology employed by the pollster, the sample and margin of error, and the date the poll was conducted. To avoid possible manipulation and to allow the public to have some period of reflection, some countries have provisions forbidding the dissemination of opinion polls at least

one day before an election, or exit polls and opinion polls during the hours of polling on election day.

Neatkarīgo kandidātu kampaņas

50. Article 43.1 regulates the creation of campaign funds for candidates in presidential election. This article permits campaign funds for candidates to come from three separate sources. One of these sources – political party contributions – is limited to a candidate nominated by a political party. Paragraph 7.5 of the OSCE 1990 Copenhagen Document provides that citizens have the right “to seek political or public office, individually or as representatives of political parties or organizations, without discrimination”. Further, a political party should have the right to provide financial support to an independent candidate in an election where the political party has not nominated its own candidate. In practice, therefore, this article discriminates against independent candidates as well as against small parties who have not nominated a candidate for election but should nonetheless enjoy the right to support a candidate, financially and otherwise. The OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission recommend that the limiting phrase “of the party (parties that are members of the election bloc) that nominated the candidate” in Article 43.1 be reformulated so that an independent candidate can receive financial support from political parties.

Ārzemnieku iesaiste kampaņā

54. The law limits the right to engage in the pre-election campaign to citizens of Ukraine who have the right to vote (Article 2.3). This limitation is contrary to international and regional legal commitments which obligate the state to ensure that all persons within their territorial jurisdiction have the right to freedom of expression, association, and speech, which encompasses the right to promote and support candidates and political parties, regardless of whether the person possesses the right to vote.[27] Further, since a person must be 18 years of age to vote, the limitation required by this article is contrary to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.[28] The OSCE/ODIHR and the VeniceCommission recommend that this limitation be removed from clause 3 of Article 2. Articles 58.2, and 64.1.1 should also be amended so that foreign citizens and stateless persons residing in Ukraine have the right to freely express their opinion and to associate during the election campaign although they are non-citizens.

55. Article 67.17 bans campaigning in “the foreign mass media, which are functioning on the territory of Ukraine, and in the mass media registered in Ukraine, in which the share of foreign property exceeds fifty per cent.” This restriction implies that candidates would be barred from issuing campaign statements or advertisements aimed at Ukrainian voters residing abroad. The ability to present a candidate’s platform to voters is an inextricable part of the right to be elected. If such a provision unduly limits the ability of candidates to reach voters residing abroad, then it should be reconsidered. Such a rule would also appear to violate the citizen’s right to receive and impart information regardless of frontiers as set out in paragraph 26.1 of the OSCE Moscow Document.

48. Article 73 par. 5 f) continues to expressly prohibit foreign citizens from engaging in election campaigning. The previous Joint Opinion cautioned that “foreign nationals and stateless individuals have rights to free expression and association, which could include manifesting an opinion ‘for or against an election subject’ (election campaigning).”[23] It is for these reasons that Article 73.5 would appear to be in conflict with Articles 1, 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. These are important concerns that were not addressed by an amendment. It is thus recommended that Article 73, par. 5 f) be amended to address this concern.

Aģitācijas nosacījumu ievērošanas uzraudzība

Venēcijas komisijas 2009.gada vērtējums par Ukrainas vēlēšanu likumu:

50. The draft law contains fairly detailed provisions to promote equal access to print and electronic mass media during the election campaign (for example, Article 62.8). However, the draft law does not include the repeated recommendation of OSCE/ODIHR and the Venice Commission of establishing an independent media commission. The Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR again recommend that such a body is set up to oversee the implementation of this aspect of the Law and promote free, equal and fair access to public broadcasting[6]. Such a body’s membership should be diverse and pluralistic.

Venēcijas komisijas mediju analīzes vadlīnijas:

The body regulating media coverage during elections should be independent, credible, and legitimate for all competing political forces. The appointment of its members cannot be under the exclusive control of the government and should comply with the principles regulating the appointment and the activity of the overall election administration. These principles include the need for:
· Members to be suitably qualified and impartial;
· Appointment procedures to be transparent;
· Members to behave independently and impartially;
· The public (including domestic and international observers) to have access to documents and decisions;
· Members to be protected against arbitrary removal.
The body entitled to supervise media coverage may be:
· A self-regulatory body, such as the voluntary press councils in many states;
· A permanent media regulatory body. This body can work autonomously or in a joint effort with the election administration;
· A body specifically created for the election period, the task of which is to regulate and supervise media coverage only during the election campaign;
· The main election administration body, such as the central election commission.
The implementing body should have the experience, facilities, know-how, and mandate to monitor respect of the rules, investigate alleged violations, and impose effective remedies when violations take place.

The implementing body should act upon candidates’ and parties’ complaints or whenever it records a violation, regardless of whether it has received any complaints.
Procedures should be established to receive and act on complaints from candidates and political parties about unfair or unlawful media coverage. These procedures should be timely, clear, and accessible in order to give complainants a prompt remedy.
Sanctions imposed by the supervisory body should be commensurate with the gravity of the offence committed by the media outlet. These should not include imprisonment or any measure that could prevent the media from carrying out their activities or encourage self-censorship among journalists.

63. Article 731, par. 11, added to the Election Code in November 2007, which introduced media monitoring to oversee the allocation of free air time for election campaigning, is a positive improvement; however, the media monitoring commissioned by the CEC during the 2008 parliamentary elections did not sufficiently identify unfairness in the media coverage. The Election Code should provide that the media monitoring results be used for prompt identification of any inequitable and preferential news coverage of candidates and parties, and that prompt corrective actions be taken by a specified body (CEC or the Georgian National Communications Commission) when necessary.
64. The Election Code should also provide or refer to the types of corrective actions that may be imposed for various violations of the media-related provisions.
65. The Election Code should also expressly provide for the right of electoral contestants to file complaints and appeals concerning unfair or illegal media activities during an election, and establish clear procedures for receiving and acting on such complaints.

Kandidātu "nomelnošana"

Venēcijas komisijas 2009.gada vērtējums par Ukrainas vēlēšanu likumu:

52. Article 67.9 prohibits one from “Spreading deliberately inaccurate or slanderous information about a party that is the election process subject or a parliamentary candidate.” This limitation on free expression of speech and political opinions prevents a robust and vigorous campaign, which is critical in a democracy. While the intent of Article 67.9 is understandable, it is extremely difficult if not impossible to determine the deliberate nature of inaccurate information, possibly resulting in spurious application. Additionally, outside the context of a political campaign, a government may limit freedom of expression in order to protect the reputation or rights of others. Furthermore, Article 67.25 implies that the media outlet, in addition to the speaker of the remarks, is responsible for such statements. This provision would effectively undermine the Media’s right to free expression and their role as an information disseminator.

[…]

54. Article 67.12 grants a political party and candidate for deputy the “right to reply” to information published by the media if the information is “deemed unreliable by the party or a parliamentary candidate”. This article places an impermissible burden on the media as it allows for a candidate to subjectively determine the “reliability” of information and, thereby, acquire free media access to “disprove” the information. Furthermore, the restriction that such a “disproval shall not be disproved” unduly limits the access to this right of reply to the party who first forwards a claim of “unreliability”.

Ziņu atspoguļojums

Venēcijas komisijas mediju analīzes vadlīnijas:

News coverage
58. According to para. 7.8 of the OSCE Copenhagen Document, the media should cover political parties and candidates in an unbiased manner. Overall fairness and impartiality are of particular importance in news, current-affairs, or discussion programmes given that people may form their voting intentions on the basis of such programmes. In their election newscasts, the media should adopt a balanced and impartial attitude. When offering broadcast time, the media should not discriminate for or against any of the candidates or political parties.
Public media
· The public/state media have an obligation to produce fair, objective, and balanced coverage of current events and election-related news. This obligation may be imposed either by self-regulation or by law;
· The right to report is a fundamental aspect of journalistic news-making. The main discussion related to news is about whether news coverage in the public media should be strictly regulated, regulated only in relation to election coverage, or not regulated at all. In countries where freedom of expression has a stable tradition, political actors usually trust the system, and where there is a well-established practice of self-regulation, no other external provision is required. In countries where there is a lack of confidence among political parties, journalists, and institutions, stricter regulation may be necessary in order to protect public media from undue interference;
· Many approaches can be used to ensure a diversity of voices: opinions of the government or the majority party should be counterbalanced by the opinion of the opposition; coverage of public events or statements made by the ruling parties on issues of public interest should be counterbalanced by coverage of the opposition parties’ views, and vice versa. Comments – either reported by the presenter or made by external experts – should be clearly distinguished from facts, and they should reflect a variety of views.
Private Electronic Media
· The main issue with respect to private broadcasters is related to the balance between their nature as a commercial enterprise and their use of national public airwaves, which creates certain obligations in terms of providing a public service. In some countries, the allocation of a licence carries a certain level of public obligation;
· From a theoretical point of view, the private media as a whole should guarantee pluralism of information, views, ideas, and opinions. Therefore, several independent media, with diversified editorial lines, can serve the purpose of producing a pluralistic system of information and access (external pluralism);
· Whatever degree of editorial freedom private broadcasters enjoy, journalists should adhere to professional standards of coverage, as well as to professional ethics.
Private Print Media
· Private print media are not bound to specific election regulations concerning the allocation of space among political forces. However, jour
nalists should adhere to professional standards of coverage, as well as to professional ethics.
Current-affairs and political-information programmes
59. Discussion programmes, like interviews or debates, supplement the normal news coverage of elections and are important because they enable the public to make direct comparisons between candidates. These types of programmes should be organized in a fair manner. Participants representing various political options should be treated equally and be able to freely present their views and platforms. However, the decision on how such fairness should be achieved (for instance, deciding the format, the number of participants, the length, etc.) should be left to the initiative of the broadcasting organization itself.

  • Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācija par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

II. Measures concerning the broadcast media
1. General framework
During electoral campaigns, regulatory frameworks should encourage and facilitate the pluralistic expression of opinions via the broadcast media.
With due respect for the editorial independence of broadcasters, regulatory frameworks should also provide for the obligation to cover electoral campaigns in a fair, balanced and impartial manner in the overall programme services of broadcasters. Such an obligation should apply to both public service broadcasters as well as private broadcasters in their relevant transmission areas.
In member States where the notion of "pre-electoral time" is defined under domestic legislation, the rules on fair, balanced, and impartial coverage of electoral campaigns by the broadcast media should also apply to this period.
2. News and current affairs programmes
Where self-regulation does not provide for this, member States should adopt measures whereby public and private broadcasters, during the election period, should in particular be fair, balanced and impartial in their news and current affairs programmes, including discussion programmes such as interviews or debates.
No privileged treatment should be given by broadcasters to public authorities during such programmes. This matter should primarily be addressed via appropriate self-regulatory measures. As appropriate, member States might examine whether, where practicable, the relevant authorities monitoring the coverage of elections should be given the power to intervene in order to remedy possible shortcomings.
3. Other programmes
Special care should be taken with programmes other than news or current affairs which are not directly linked to the campaign but which may also have an influence on the attitude of voters.

  • Skaidrojošais memorands, kas pievienots Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācijai par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

News and current affairs programmes
It is considered that observance of fairness and impartiality is of particular importance in news, current affairs or discussion programmes given that some people form their voting intentions, to some extent, on the basis of such programmes.
Discussion programmes, like interviews or debates, act as supplements to the normal news coverage of elections and are important because they enable the public to make direct comparisons between candidates. These types of programmes should also be organised in a fair manner. However, the decision on how such fairness should be achieved (for instance, deciding on the format, the number of participants, the length, etc.) should be left to the initiative of the broadcasting organisation itself.
A problem that sometimes arises related to the news coverage of a campaign is that incumbent government officials, that is, candidates already occupying official positions, may attempt to gain undue advantage through additional news coverage of their official functions. The Recommendation therefore stresses that no privileged treatment should be given to public authorities during such programmes.
Avoiding privileged treatment should be the primary objective. Should such treatment nevertheless occur, counterbalancing measures should be taken in favour of the affected parties/candidates. It is considered that redress should be found in a self-regulatory process. It would be desirable if the internal guidelines of broadcasting organisations highlighted the obligation to prevent or otherwise counterbalance excessive and privileged coverage of an incumbent politician. Another possible option to deal with such situations which is mentioned in the Recommendation, would be to entrust the relevant authority monitoring the coverage of the election (broadcasting regulatory body, electoral commission or other) with powers to intervene and compensate the prejudiced candidates.
Other programmes
Certain types of programmes that are not directly linked to the campaign coverage, such as talk-shows, political parodies with puppets or “politically-motivated” feature films should also be given attention because they might have an influence on voting intentions. Such programmes can sometimes give a candidate or a political party an unfair advantage.
This is again an area that primarily has to be addressed by broadcasters themselves via internal guidelines. The Recommendation therefore only suggests that special care should be taken with entertainment programmes that may have an influence on voters, so that certain parties or contenders do not obtain an unfair advantage.

Brīvais raidlaiks

Venēcijas komisijas mediju analīzes vadlīnijas:

Free Airtime/Space
Public Media
· Parties and candidates should be provided with direct access to the public media free of charge. No registered contesting parties or candidates should be excluded from receiving free airtime. The amount of time allotted has to be enough to allow candidates to effectively communicate and illustrate their platforms to the public;
· The allocation of time can be on an equal basis or on a proportional basis according to the specific context in which the elections are taking place. When the number of contesting parties is limited, strict equality may be applicable;
· When the number of contesting parties and candidates is high, a proportional formula may be adopted. The criteria for defining proportions can be based on a number of yardsticks: votes obtained by parties in the same kind of past elections, the number of seats in parliament, a threshold based on the number of candidacies filed in a minimum of constituencies;
· Direct access should be broadcast/published when it is likely to reach the widest possible audience. Direct access also has to be made available on a non-discriminatory basis. Therefore, it is not acceptable to broadcast the messages of some candidates only late at night or early in the morning while other candidates are provided slots during prime time;
· The process for the allocation of free airtime needs to be fair and transparent. The order of appearance should guarantee non-discrimination against any of the parties;
· An independent body that is able to effectively and promptly remedy any violations should monitor compliance with provisions regulating the allocation of free airtime.
Private Electronic Media
· Private electronic media are not usually obliged to allot free airtime to election contestants. However, when they decide to offer airtime or they are obliged by law to do so, they should comply with the same principles as those regulating the public broadcaster.

  • Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācija par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

4. Free airtime for political parties/candidates on public broadcast media
Member States may examine the advisability of including in their regulatory frameworks provisions whereby free airtime is made available to political parties/candidates on public broadcasting services in electoral time.
Wherever such airtime is granted, this should be done in a fair and non-discriminatory manner, on the basis of transparent and objective criteria.

  • Skaidrojošais memorands, kas pievienots Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācijai par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

Free airtime on public broadcast media
It is a practice in many countries for political parties to access, at no cost, the public service broadcast media to deliver their electoral messages. This is what is generally called “free airtime” or “free political advertising”. It is a direct form of communication between politicians and voters, without any intermediary role by the media. One of the main advantages of giving free airtime to political parties is that it can compensate the risk of unfair and biased coverage of the campaign by certain media. In addition, unlike paid political advertising, the lack of financial strength of a party is not an obstacle to access the airwaves. The Recommendation acknowledges the positive aspects of free political advertising and therefore requests member States to examine the advisability of introducing provisions granting free airtime to political parties/candidates on public broadcasting services. Nevertheless, it is also recognised that there are some disadvantages with the practice of free airtime. For example, giving access to extremist views might help the propagation of ideas which are harmful to democracy.
The way of dividing free political advertising space among parties, that is, deciding which parties qualify for airtime and in what amounts is a difficult and sensitive question, the solution to which differs from one country to another. Sometimes the division of airtime is based on the past performance of a political party or the number of seats it holds in parliament (proportional access). In other countries, such as the new democracies, there is a tendency to divide airtime equally among all the contending parties (equal access). Another possible way of dividing airtime is to allocate a minimum amount to all contenders and add supplementary time on a proportional or other basis (mixed access). Given the variety of possible options to allocate airtime, the Recommendation does not give preference to one practice over another. It does, however, recommend that when airtime is made available to parties it should be granted in a fair and non-discriminatory manner and on the basis of transparent and objective criteria.
During election times there is a large production of political messages and programmes, which can lead to the saturation of the electorate. Therefore, to avoid excessive election-related broadcasting, the setting of limits to the total amount of airtime may be examined.
As regards responsibility for the content of free airtime spots, it is accepted that, in principle, such responsibility should lie with the political party that has prepared the material. However, this issue is not addressed in the Recommendation because it is considered that the precise delimitation of responsibilities between broadcasters and political parties should be decided at the national level.
Where a member State subjects a broadcaster to the obligation of granting free airtime to political parties during election campaigns, it should be ensured that this is not detrimental to the financial equilibrium of such a broadcaster.

Maksas politiskās reklāmas

  • Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācija par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

5. Paid political advertising
In member States where political parties and candidates are permitted to buy advertising space for electoral purposes, regulatory frameworks should ensure that:
- the possibility of buying advertising space should be available to all contending parties, and on equal conditions and rates of payment;
- the public is aware that the message is a paid political advertisement.
Member States may consider introducing a provision in their regulatory frameworks to limit the amount of political advertising space which a given party or candidate can purchase.

  • Skaidrojošais memorands, kas pievienots Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācijai par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

Paid political advertising in the broadcast media has traditionally been prohibited in many Council of Europe member States, whilst it has been accepted in others. One of its major advantages is the opportunity which it provides for all political forces to widely disseminate their messages/programmes. On the other hand, it may give an unfair advantage to those parties or candidates who can purchase important amounts of airtime.
In view of the different positions on this matter, the Recommendation does not take a stance on whether this practice should be accepted or not, and simply limits itself to saying that if paid advertising is allowed it should be subject to some minimum rules: one, that equal treatment (in terms of access and rates) is given to all parties requesting airtime, and two, that the public is aware that the message has been paid for.
It may also be considered important to set limits on the amount of paid advertising that can be purchased by a single party. Nevertheless, the Recommendation does not specify whether it is desirable to do so nor does it set any precise limits on the amount of paid advertising, as it is considered that the decision on this matter should be taken at the national level.

Venēcijas komisijas mediju analīzes vadlīnijas:

61. Paid political advertising provides another opportunity for all political parties or candidates to disseminate their messages through the media. While voters undoubtedly need as much information about contestants as possible to make an informed choice, paid advertising may give an unfair advantage to those parties or candidates who can afford to purchase more airtime or space. Although paid political advertising is widely accepted in print media, many states do not allow it in the broadcast media.
Paid Advertising
Public Media/Private Print Media
If paid advertising is permitted, it should comply with some basic rules:
· It should be guaranteed on an equal basis to all contestants by offering consistent and equivalent rates;
· Rates should be equitable for the requested time period within the media schedule;
· Media should identify in a clear way paid airtime or party-sponsored slots in order to allow voters to be aware of the nature of the programme.
Limits may be imposed on the quantity of paid advertising parties are entitled to purchase, as may limits on the amount of airtime media are allowed to broadcast daily. Another way to regulate paid political advertising is to impose limits on campaign expenditures of political parties and candidates. In some cases, the state, to consolidate the principle of equal opportunity, may allow paid advertising and decide to partially finance it.
Private Print Media
· The issue of paid advertising is not so problematic for print media. Nevertheless, the press should follow the principle of equal opportunity: paid advertising must be guaranteed on an equal basis to all contestants by offering consistent and equivalent rates. Print media should identify material that has been paid for in a clear manner. Limits may be imposed on the quantity of paid advertising parties are entitled to purchase, as may limits on the number of paid pages the media can publish daily.

62. The standard of equality of campaign conditions for all electoral contestants includes the right to have access to the same commercial rate for electoral ads offered to all political parties and candidates, and that the times and locations of the advertising be on similar terms. This guarantee does not appear in the Georgian Election Code or media-related laws. Furthermore, during the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections, the commercial rates for electoral ads were increased so astronomically (approximately ten times the rates for non-electoral ads) that the less economically well off parties and candidates apparently did not have any opportunity to use paid political advertising. These huge increases in advertising prices for electoral spots in effect created unequal campaign conditions for the contestants. It is thus recommended that the Election Code include a right for all electoral contestants to have access to the same commercial rate for electoral ads, and that the times and locations of the advertising be on similar terms.

Vēlētāju izglītošanas programmas

Venēcijas komisijas mediju analīzes vadlīnijas:

62. Voter-education programmes, whether commissioned by an election commission, public broadcaster, or other organization, should always be impartial and accurate to inform voters about the elections. These programmes should always be clearly separated from any partisan messages.

Klusuma periods

Venēcijas komisijas mediju analīzes vadlīnijas:

64. The silence period, or so-called day of reflection, is a short period of time (usually a day) preceding the elections to allow voters to absorb and digest all the information received during the electoral campaign and to make a choice without pressure. The dissemination of any partisan electoral messages during this short period is prohibited.

  • Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācija par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

1. "Day of reflection"
Member States may consider the merits of including a provision in their regulatory frameworks to prohibit the dissemination of partisan electoral messages on the day preceding voting.

Skaidrojošais memorands, kas pievienots Eiropas Padomes Ministru Komitejas 1999.gada rekomendācijai par pasākumiem attiecībā uz vēlēšanu kampaņu atspoguļojumu medijos

Day of reflection
As regards the so-called ‘day of reflection’, normally understood to be the day preceding voting, the Recommendation provides that member States may consider the merits of including a provision in their regulatory frameworks to prohibit the dissemination of partisan electoral messages on this day, since it is considered that voters should have time to ‘digest’ all the information received during the campaign and thus take a decision on their vote without pressures.
Given the fact that material other than partisan electoral messages may have an implicit political message or content, it is important that self-regulatory practices by the media also address this problem.

55. It is unusual that the Election Code does not include any general campaigning curfew or any prohibition against election-day campaigning in and around polling stations. The only time ban on campaign activities is in Article 73 par.3 which prohibits the transmission of free and/or paid electoral advertisements through television within 24 hours prior to the election date. Undue influence in the last 24 hours before an election can take place in various contexts, such as agitation at the actual polling place or its vicinity and door-to-door campaigning on the day of voting. Generally, a ban on campaigning near to the election allows voters to more easily reflect on the political choice to be made. In the 2008 parliamentary elections, campaigning activities and materials were, in fact, observed on election day both inside and in the vicinity of polling stations. It is thus recommended that the Election Code include a general prohibition against any type of campaign activity during the last 24 hours prior to elections. Interestingly, the Administrative Offences Code (Article 1745), sets out a fine for campaigning on election day, without, however, a corresponding substantive provision in the Election Code that prohibits campaigning on election day. At a minimum, campaigning and campaign materials in and around polling stations on election day should be banned.

Aģitācijas kampaņa referendumos

Venēcijas komisijas labas prakses kodekss referendumu jautājumos un tā skaidrojošais memorands:

2.2.Equality of opportunity
a. Equality of opportunity must be guaranteed for the supporters and opponents of the proposal being voted on. This entails a neutral attitude by administrative authorities, in particular with regard to:
i. the referendum campaign;
ii. coverage by the media, in particular by the publicly owned media;
iii. public funding of campaign and its actors;
iv. billposting and advertising;
v. the right to demonstrate on public thoroughfares.
b. In public radio and television broadcasts on the referendum campaign, it is advisable that equality be ensured between the proposal’s supporters and opponents.
c. Balanced coverage must be guaranteed to the proposal’s supporters and opponents in other public mass media broadcasts, especially news broadcasts. Account may be taken of the number of political parties supporting each option or their election results.
d. Equality must be ensured in terms of public subsidies and other forms of backing. It is advisable that equality be ensured between the proposal’s supporters and opponents. Such backing may, however, be restricted to supporters and opponents of the proposal who account for a minimum percentage of the electorate. If equality is ensured between political parties, it may be strict or proportional. If it is strict, political parties are treated on an equal footing irrespective of their current parliamentary strength or support among the electorate. If it is proportional, political parties must be treated according to the results achieved in the elections.
e. Financial or other conditions for radio and television advertising must be the same for the proposal’s supporters and opponents.
f. In conformity with freedom of expression, legal provision should be made to ensure that there is a minimum access to privately owned audiovisual media, with regard to the referendum campaign and to advertising, for all participants in the referendum.
g. Political party and referendum campaign funding must be transparent.
h. The principle of equality of opportunity can, in certain cases, lead to a limitation of spending by political parties and other parties involved in the referendum debate, especially on advertising.
i. Sanctions must be imposed in t he case of breaches of the duty of neutrality.

2.2. Equality of opportunity
8. Respect for equality of opportunity is crucial for both referendums and elections. While in elections equality must be ensured between parties and between candidates, simply replicating this principle in the case of referendums may lead to an unsatisfactory situation. In countries with popular initiatives or optional referendums, these are often not instigated by a political party, and may even propose an option that is rejected by the largest parties – such as reducing the number of members of Parliament or public funding of parties. Accordingly, the guidelines emphasise equality between the supporters and opponents of the proposal being voted on notably as concerns the coverage by the media, in particular in news broadcasts, as well as public subsidies and other forms of backing; in this framework, account may be taken of the number of political parties supporting each option or their election results (points I.2.2.a-e).
9. It would be unrealistic to require a perfect balance between a text’s supporters and opponents in all cases. It may be that a degree of consensus emerges in one direction or the other – particularly in the case of a mandatory referendum on a proposal having required a qualified parliamentary majority. Supporters and opponents must always be guaranteed access to the public media, however. As long as this requirement is satisfied, account may be taken of the number of political parties supporting each option or of their election results, especially in news broadcasts (point I.2.2.c).
10. Similarly, it is advisable to ensure equality between the proposal’s supporters and opponents in terms of public subsidies and other forms of backing. Such backing may be restricted to supporters and opponents of the proposal who account for a minimum percentage of the electorate, provided that the support received by each side is balanced. If equality is ensured between political parties, it may be proportional, taking account of their election results. Allocating funds to the parties alone is not the ideal solution, however, as explained above (point I.2.2.d).

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