Skopje, 19 October 2017 – Generally speaking, the programming services at the state level that were covered by the Agency’s monitoring ensured equal conditions for access to all forms of media coverage of the local elections.
Many of them made efforts to organize debates and face-offs of the participants in the electoral process. On the other hand, some of the candidates took part in the special information programmes by some media, choosing not to respond to the invitations of others.
The Public Broadcasting Service and the Parliamentary Channel met the obligations for ensuring free political presentation, which the participants in the election campaign used to a varying extent. What was characteristic for the ethnic Albanian parties in Macedonia in this round was that they did not take the opportunity to have free presentation.
In the last 9 days of the election campaign (from 5 until 13 October 2017), in their newscasts, the broadcasters that air programme in the Macedonian language were focused on reporting about the campaigns of the two coalitions with the largest number of verified candidate lists for mayors and councilors – one led by the SDSM, and the other by the VMRO/DPMNE. Broadcasters airing programme in the Albanian and Macedonian languages had a quantitatively more balanced approach to reporting, while both strove to ensure qualitatively equal treatment.
In this reporting period, no violation was detected of the requirement for just, balanced and unbiased coverage of the elections. The individual reports on the monitoring of the national broadcasters can be downloaded at this link