Media Representation of Political Subjects
during the Election Period
to the Article 16.2 of the Election Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Official Gazette of Bosnia and Herzegovina, No. 23/01), the Election Commission
of Bosnia and Herzegovina on its session, held on 21 June 2002, adopts
media representation of political subjects during the election period
Rules shall determine the rules of broadcast media behavior in the election
period, the time and manner of political representation of political parties,
coalitions and lists of independent candidates, the time and duration of
electoral messages broadcasting and geographical areas covered by broadcast.
purpose of interpretation and implementation of these Rules, definitions and
abbreviations in these Rules have the following meaning:
period? is the period of sixty (60) days prior to the day of elections.
Communications Regulatory Agency.
Rules? are CRA Code for arrangement of radio and TV program as well as any other
rule that was or is made by CRA, and which regulates the issue of RTV program
advertising " is any broadcasting or advertising, which represents political
?Political subject? is political party, coalition or an independent candidate
accepted by the Election Commission as registered for elections in BiH.
Political parties within a coalition are considered one political subject;
advertisement " is any political advertisement or addressing of political
subject itself or on its behalf, with direct communication with public.
video clip? is a short, earlier recorded political advertisement that provides
political subject with direct communication with public, with its words and/or
broadcasting media " is each media defined as public in accordance with the CRA
Rule 01/1999 of the Definitions and obligations of public broadcasting.
?Commercial broadcast media? is media each media that does not use any resources
donated from public funds in its financing.
funds? are any type of operational support financed from public resources,
regardless of method of collection and distribution of these resources.
Operational support includes money, preferential loans, equipment, salaries
and/or working hours, as well as any other kind of support to which commercial
value could be applied. All equipment and other devices or objects need to be
assessed in regard to the full commercial value.
3 General Provisions
broadcast media, public and commercial, are obliged to ensure the covering of
pre-election activities of political subjects in accordance with these Rules.
Election Commission may, upon CRA recommendation, exclude from that obligation
commercial media which do not broadcast political programs. Such media must
address CRA with an explanation request not older than fifteen (15) days prior
to begin of the election period. The BiH Election Commission makes a decision on
exception of a commercial broadcast media within seven (7) days from the day of
of above mentioned, all broadcast media are obliged to broadcast announcements
and information of the Election Commission of Bosnia and Herzegovina free of
remuneration, in order to inform voters on all aspects of the election process
in accordance with these Rules.
Broadcasting media, subject to obligation of broadcasting the election program
(hereinafter: media) in BiH are obliged to ensure that information published in
the election period is correct, complete, honest, fair and impartial. Media
shall not get involved in distortion, covering, falsification, misrepresentation
and censorship, including systematic omission of information that would
influence the way of how shall public understand certain subject or an event.
Media shall not use any material that, in its content or tone, carry clear and
immediate danger of stimulation of ethnical or religious hate among the
communities in BiH, or other type of disorder that would obstruct the election
4 Paid political advertising
political advertising in broadcasting media, in terms of definition given in the
Article 1 of these Rules is prohibited.
Period of election silence
entire Bosnia and Herzegovina, during the period of twenty-four (24) hours
before the opening of Polling stations, there shall be no media covering of any
political activity. The period of election silence lasts until the closing of
period of seventy two (72) hours before opening of Polling stations until the
end of voting, media shall not publish results of public opinion surveys in
regard to voting and elections.
6 Equitable and Fair Representation
obliged to represent political parties, coalitions, list of independent
candidates and independent candidate equitable and fair, and inform public on
issues in regard to campaign and election process.
?Equitable? representation means fair coverage of pre-elections activities of
all political parties and impartial approach to all political subjects during
the election period.
broadcast political video clips and other political programs before the election
period, in accordance with the CRA rules. Media shall, at all times, abide by
the CRA Code for program-broadcasting regarding program standards, as well as
request in regard to right to respond.
sixty (60) days prior to Election Day, media shall provide equitable
representation of all political parties, coalitions and candidates, including
parallel covering of information valuable events and equitable presentation with
other means. Media shall broadcast political discussions of standardised content
that give the image of impartiality.
election period, information on regular activities of political parties shall be
presented on the News broadcast only if such activities are of great
significance for the wider public. Information on regular state activities or
activities of government authorities shall not be used for promotion of any
7 Direct addressing
accordance with these Rules, all public broadcast media shall provide free
broadcast time to political subjects for direct addressing, during the period of
thirty (30) days prior to Election Day.
that cover the territory of the State of BiH or Entities, direct addressing by
one political subject that stands as a candidate for elections at the state
and/or entity level, may be repeated three times at most, and broadcast for a
duration not shorter than five (5) and not longer than ten (10) minutes.
media, direct addressing by one political subject that stands as a candidate at
the cantonal and/or municipal level, may be repeated two times at most, and
broadcast for duration not shorter than three (3) and not longer than five (5)
political subject that stands as a candidate at municipal or cantonal level
directly addresses the media, covering the territory of the State or entities,
the duration of such addressing may be repeated two times and cannot be longer
than five (5) minutes.
shall determine the length of broadcast time for direct addressing pursuant to
previous praxis, the number of political subjects and other relevant
period for direct addressing must be scheduled in the period when it is most
probable that it will be available to the biggest part of public.
time for direct addressing must be provided for all political parties,
coalitions, lists of independent candidates and independent candidates.
shall determine the schedule of direct addressing by lottery. Political subjects
shall be informed on the date and the place of determining the schedule and may
8 Political advertising
shall provide free broadcast time for political advertisements during the
election period. Political advertisements shall be broadcasted during the entire
election period, at the time when it is most probable it will reach the widest
range of public.
elections at the state level, equitable period of broadcast time in program must
be provided for political advertisements of all political subjects registered
elections at lower levels, each radio and/or TV station that broadcasts
political programs must ensure equitable access for all political subjects
registered in constituency covered by the signal of those radio/TV stations.
coverage of radio/TV stations is given in the Annex III of these Rules, and
determined on the basis of technical information included in temporary broadcast
licenses, as well as on the basis of technical information in long-term
broadcast licenses issued by CRA so far.
9 Political video clips
political subject must submit request to broadcast its political video clip by
each identified media outlet and must provide copies of the video clip for
broadcast. In each political video clip it shall be indicated that it is a
political video clip and it shall be also clearly indicated which political
subject is responsible for it.
video clip shall not be broadcasted immediately before, during or after the
political video clip shall last at most sixty (60) seconds. Broadcast media
cannot shorten political video clips, except in cases they exceed the permitted
duration. Broadcast media must not in any way change political video clips, nor
add its opinions, evaluations and explanations of political video clips.
video clips may be repeated during the election period, but the maximum time
must not exceed fourteen (14) hours by each media providing the time in program
for all political subjects during the election period. Duration time of
political advertising by video clips within one hour must not exceed four (4)
minutes. Each political subject can have at most seven (7) minutes of political
video clips by broadcast media every two weeks during the election period.
video clips shall be broadcasted in accordance with the program schedule, in
such way that they do not influence the general program dynamics, nor decrease
the interest of viewers for elections.
alone shall impartially determine the schedule and time when political video
clips shall be broadcast, possibly by the principle of lottery. Media shall have
clear rules on how to decide upon schedule and time of political video clips
broadcast. These rules shall be available to public upon request.
political subjects do not have the possibility to organize the production of its
political video clips alone, they may ask for such services from media. Such
production services can be charged by media. Expenses paid in such case must be
equal for all political subjects at the same level of services. However, if
political video clips are produced without remuneration for one political
subject, then they have to be produced without remuneration for all political
subjects, who request it.
Equitable approach to political debates and discussions
obliged to provide, during the election period, direct access of political
subject in programming, intended for balanced and comprehensive informing of
voters. Such political programs may consist of round tables, public debates with
the involvement of public audience or any other type of program that includes
political debates between political subjects.
equitable possibility of participation must be given to all political subjects.
Studio audience and participants in contact shows shall not be directed by the
program hosts in the choice of questions and interventions. Program hosts shall
maintain impartial positions and improve neutral and democratic atmosphere.
subjects shall not pay fee for participation in programs described in this
Article, nor shall they be paid for such participation.
possible in any way, invitations for participation in such programs or other
similar events organized by media shall be sent to a political subject, seven
(7) days in advance. In any case, an invitation must be sent at least two days
before scheduled broadcasting.
debates and discussions must be organized at such a time when it is most
probable to reach the widest range of public. Political debates and discussions
cannot last longer then ninety (90) minutes per show and cannot be broadcasted
less then three (3) or more then five (5) times per week. Exceptionally, public
broadcast services in BiH may broadcast such programs seven (7) times per week
during twenty-one (21) days prior to the Election Day.
shall send, at least seven days in advance, the schedule of planned political
programs to CRA. All changes of the planned programs or political shows
scheduled in a short deadline shall be reported to CRA as soon as possible.
shall keep detailed records on the time schedule of broadcasting of political
video clips, the time schedule and content of political programs, as well as
covering of political events, and shall give such records for public scrutiny.
Such records shall be sent to CRA each Monday for the previous week. CRA may
request from the media a summary report on political video clips and political
programs at any time, as well as report on the time given to each political
accordance with Article 16.7 of the Election Law, Communications Regulatory
Agency shall apply, as the body authorized for monitoring the work of broadcast
media, its Procedure for conducting the cases in each event of failure to comply
with provisions of the Chapter 16 of the Election Law and provisions of these
Complaints and Appeals Council
accordance with Article 16.7 of the Election Law, the authorised body for
monitoring the work of media can forward a case to the Election Complaints and
Appeals Council, in case of a violation of provisions of the Chapter 16. The
Election Complaints and Appeals Council, in accordance with the Article 6.6 of
the Election Law, has the first instance authority for decision making upon
violations of provisions of the Chapter 16 of the Law.
13 Final Provisions
Rules shall apply to broadcast media in BiH in regard to elections at municipal,
cantonal, entity or state level.
Rules shall apply only during the period from sixty (60) days prior to the
Election Day, as well as on the Election Day.
14 Enter into force
Rules shall enter into force on the day of its adoption and it shall be
published in ?the Official Gazette of BiH?, official gazettes of entities and
?the Official Gazette of the Brcko District?.