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17 Jan, 2024 15:08

Russia outlines pre-election media campaign schedule

Presidential candidates will be allowed to air ads on state outlets from mid-February – a month before the vote
Russia outlines pre-election media campaign schedule

Campaign season in the Russian media ahead of the presidential election in March will kick off next month and continue until just before voters head to the polls, the country’s Central Electoral Commission (CEC) announced on Wednesday.

Candidates will be permitted to run campaign ads on state TV and radio channels from February 17, with the last broadcasts to be aired before midnight on March 15, when voting begins. The CEC has also specified time periods within which candidates will be able to air their campaign ads for free.

According to the rules, each state media outlet should set aside one hour of its airtime on weekdays for campaigning purposes, while the quota for regional media is 30 minutes. 

The presidential election itself will be held between March 15 and March 17, with the inauguration scheduled for early May. There will be no media blackout prior to the vote, as this requirement was removed by President Vladimir Putin in 2021.

Meanwhile, presidential candidates have until the end of this month to submit the signatures of voters endorsing their candidacy. Independent candidates must obtain 300,000 signatures, while the threshold for party nominees is 100,000. MPs from parties represented in the State Duma who run for president are exempt from the requirement.

So far, the CEC has registered only three candidates: the New People Party MP Vladislav Davankov, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party Leonid Slutsky, and Communist Party MP Nikolay Kharitonov.

Incumbent Vladimir Putin, who is running as an independent, has gathered 2.5 million signatures – far exceeding the required threshold. However, these have yet to be verified by election officials.