"[States should foster citizen participation in the electoral process by] ensuring freedom of political debate in the media and guaranteeing that electoral campaigns are open and accessible and that they allow genuine debate that is not only of interest to voters but also informative for their choices. This requires, in particular, transparency and pluralism of all media as well as equal access for all candidates and political parties to the public service media, which should be impartial. Any national regulations on election campaigns should strike a fair balance between freedom of expression and ensuring equal opportunities. "
DocumentCoE (Parliamentary Assembly): Resolution 1897(2012) on Ensuring Greater Democracy in Elections, para. 8.1.9
- Political parties and candidates must be granted, on an equal basis, the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds orally, in writing, in print, through art, or through any other form of media.
- The state should endeavor to ensure a pluralistic media that allows its citizens to access a variety of viewpoints and media outlets.
- Free communication of information and ideas about public and political issues between citizens, candidates, and elected representatives is necessary.
- Access to the media should be guaranteed to all political parties and candidates and be fairly distributed.
- Political parties and candidates must have access to the public media on a non-discriminatory basis.
- During the electoral process there should be sufficient media space to allow for open questioning and debate between political leaders and candidates.
- The legal framework may require media to provide voter education and air debates between candidates.