Local newspapers refusing to print opposition candidates


   Two newspapers from Chornobayiv and Chyhyrn are failing to conclude agreements to print advertising material for candidate Petro Dusheiko.  The latter says that his press service begin finding out about the price of advertising material back at the beginning of August. The Chornobayiv paper Svitly Shlyakh said openly that they would not conclude agreements with candidates who don’t support the government. They said that the district authorities prohibited it.  Then, the newspaper Pocherk explains, all conversations ended with the management of the district publications asking for the agreement to be left “for consideration”, and them sitting on it.

Svitly Shlyakh sent a letter claiming that the agreement could not be concluded as the Chief Editor was on sick leave.  The letter was signed by the Deputy Editor in Chief.

The monitoring site Elections and the Media got in touch with the newspaper to be told that the Chief Editor was still on sick leave and that his deputy is “now” prepared to post the advertising material.  It was claimed that the reason why this had not yet been done was purely technical.

The monitors were unable to speak to either the Chief Editor or Deputy of the Chyhyryn News.

In August another opposition candidate also asserted that the Chyhyryn Newsa had refused to post political advertising.  Then the excuse given was that the Chief Editor was on leave.

Tetyana Kotyuzhynska, lawyer for the Union of Journalists of Ukraine, says that there are only two grounds for refusing to publish advertising material: if it contains calls to violent overthrow of the State system or if the material’s inaccuracy has been confirmed by a court decision.  Refusal on any other grounds is a violation of the Law on the Parliamentary Elections.

This is not the first refusal by State-owned or municipal newspapers to publish advertising material.

A court recently ruled that the behaviour of three Transcarpathian newspapers which refused a candidate from the opposition.

In August another member of the opposition said that the newspaper Zhashkivshchyna had refused to publish his advertising.

In an official refusal from the Editor of the newspaper Narodne Slove, Yury Kovach to publish the advertising of a candidate from the opposition, Kovach states that “such a situation is effectively in each district where the local publications have three co-founders – the district council, the district state administration and the editorial teach which according to their Charter determine the editorial political since subsidies are allocated for covering their activities. At the present time the top managerial bodies of the editorial office of Narodne Slovo is the council of co-founders, and the editorial office only has 33% control of the Statute Fund.”

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