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Article 88

Preventing the Cases of Abuse During Pre-Election Campaigning

88.1. In compliance with the Criminal Code, the Code of Administrative Offences, and the Civil Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan, pre–election programs (pre-referendum calls) of candidates, political parties, blocs of political parties, and referendum campaign groups, meetings and preelection campaign speeches and materials distributed through the mass media should not contain incitements to overthrow the government by force, change the constitutional system by force, violate the territorial integrity of the country, or insult citizens’ honor and dignity. This prohibition should be implemented in accordance with Article 47 of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

88.2. In compliance with the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan, during a pre-election campaign it shall be prohibited to abuse the mass media for campaigns which incite social, racial, national or religious hatred and hostility.

88.3. According to Article 30 of the Constitution of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Civil Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan, it shall be prohibited to conduct a campaign that violates intellectual property rights.

88.4. Candidates, registered candidates, political parties, blocs of political parties, referendum campaign groups, their agents, and other persons and organizations who participate directly in a pre-election campaign shall be prohibited from :

88.4.1. giving money, gifts and other valuable items (excepting badges, stickers, posters and campaign materials with other nominal value) to voters, except for purposes of performing of administrative duties;

88.4.2. rewarding voters who perform administrative duties, or promising voters a reward, on the basis of election results;

88.4.3. selling goods at a discount or providing goods (except for printed materials) free of charge;

88.4.4. providing free or discounted services;

88.4.5. influencing voters during the pre-election campaign by promising them securities, money and other goods and services based on grounds that contradict legislation.

88.5. Commercial and other activities of the following entities may be advertised on the grounds mentioned in Articles 81 and 84 of this code, provided that the advertisement clearly displays the relationship to a political party or candidate:

• Registered candidates;
• Agents, authorized representatives, founders, proprietors, owners, and members of managing boards of political parties or blocs of political parties;
• Initiators of referendum campaign groups, or legal entities, persons and organizations, mentioned as authorized representatives of such groups.

Such advertisements may only be made at the expense of the relevant election (referendum) funds, and should be stopped 24 hours prior to the commencement of voting.

88.6. If programs of TV and radio companies and periodicals mentioned in Articles 77.1 and 77.4 of this Code participate in the pre-election campaign and do not create conditions for a registered candidate, before the end of the pre-election campaign, to defend his/ her dignity and honor or refute misinformation about him/her during the pre-election campaign, such TV and radio companies and periodicals should prevent the distribution and broadcast of false information which injures the dignity and honor of the candidate. If programs of TV and radio companies and periodicals mentioned in Articles 77.1 and 77.4 of this Code do not provide a registered candidate with conditions to defend his/her dignity and honor before the end of the pre-election campaign, such TV and radio companies and periodicals, and their officials may be subject to liability established by legislation.

88.7. If a registered candidate or referendum campaign group violates Articles 88.1-88.3 of the present Code, the relevant election commission should appeal to law-enforcement bodies or the court; other state bodies may use this right as well. If a registered candidate, political party, bloc of political parties, or referendum campaign group violates other rules for conducting a pre-election campaign defined by this Code, the relevant election commission shall take relevant measures for bringing those guilty to administrative responsibility. The decision of the election commission shall be published in the press.

88.8. If TV and radio companies and periodicals violate the rules for pre-election campaigning defined by this Code, the relevant election commission shall have the right to apply to law enforcement bodies, the court, and the relevant executive authorities, on the initiative of the subordinate press group consisting of journalists in the order defined by the Central Election Commission, with a request to stop the illegal pre-election campaigning and to take the necessary measures regarding the companies, periodicals, and/or their officials.