REGISTRATION OF LOCAL CANDIDATES WILL CONTINUE TILL 31 JANUARY CEC RESTRICTS CANDIDATES' RIGHT TO CAMPAIGNING
Registration of local candidates started on 29 January and will continue to 31 January. Candidates' registration marks the beginning of another stage of the elections – canvassing campaign. However, on 16 December 2002 the Central Election Commission issued a Ruling, which seriously restricted the right of political parties and NGOs for campaigning.
According to part 1 of the Ruling, election posters of local candidates are to be sponsored from the National budget and non-budget fund, created by the Central Election Commission. It is not allowed to use resources of candidates, their proxies, political parties, non-governmental organizations, companies or private citizens for publishing posters. It's worth mentioning, that, according to Art 45 of the Election Code, the term "poster" also includes appeals, slogans, statements, printed material, and photo-material.
Thus, political parties, public associations and citizens will not be able to canvass for a candidate by spreading printed materials: leaflets, posters, etc.
At the same time, Art 45 of the Election Code, says that political parties, working collectives, citizens, and candidates have the right to produce appeals, slogans, statements, printed material, and photo-material (further -- posters) once candidates are registered. Art 45 of the Election Code, unlike the recent CEC ruling, does not prohibit political parties, non-governmental organizations, citizens and companies to use their own means for publishing posters in support of local candidates.
The recent Ruling of the Central Election Commission deprived political parties, public associations and citizens of the possibility to canvass for or against candidates.