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OSCE/ODIHR: The campaign officially starts on 26 November and will finish at midnight on 7 December

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Friday, 30 November, 2018, 11:25
OSCE/ODIHR: The campaign officially starts on 26 November and will finish at midnight on 7 December

The campaign officially starts on 26 November and will finish at midnight on 7 December.
Campaigning before this period is neither prohibited nor regulated by law. In early November, political parties and alliances began announcing in media who would be heading their national lists and prospective candidates began outlining their programme priorities. Contestants also reached out to
potential voters largely through Facebook and began producing and disseminating campaign leaflets.

Some contestants have indicated that, starting over the weekend of 23-24 November, their candidates will begin “journeys” or “walks” from towns in the regions that will culminate in Yerevan for the kick-off of their campaigns. Campaign billboards began appearing in Yerevan on 23 November.

During the official campaign, contestants are provided with equal access to public resources, space for posters and billboards, and premises for meeting voters. The CEC posted in a timely manner the list of halls and other premises that are provided by local authorities to contestants free of charge, as well as information about available billboards provided by advertisers.
Party interlocutors expressed confidence to the ODIHR EOM that they will be able to campaign freely, but some raised concerns about potential abuse of state resources, vote-buying, and pressure on voters, especially in rural areas.19 Majority of ODIHR EOM interlocutors voiced concerns about ongoing
disinformation and intolerant and inflammatory rhetoric, particularly online.
Campaigning by government officials while performing their official duties is prohibited. Several political parties claimed in the media and to the ODIHR EOM that a 19 November event when the acting Prime Minister visited construction sites and attended a town celebration in the Gegharkunik region was an abuse of administrative resources.

The media are diverse and include 103 television channels (including 8 with nationwide coverage), 24 radio stations, some 40 print publications. In addition, there are more than 200 online news portals.
Television remains the most important source of political information, especially outside the capital.

The role of online media and social networks is growing rapidly. Facebook, in particular, has become a significant platform for political information and debate. Freedom of expression is guaranteed by the Constitution. Defamation was decriminalized in 2010, and a 2011 Constitutional Court decision encouraged the use of non-pecuniary measures, such as public apology and refutation.