Elections to the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania ‘2004
 


Basic Principles of Campaigning


With not less than 30 days prior to the election, the Central Electoral Committee shall publish in the Valstybės žinios (the Official Gazette) the lists of candidates of parties and coalitions which participate in the election, election numbers assigned to the lists of candidates by drawing lots, election numbers assigned to the candidates on the above lists as well as the candidates nominated in single-member constituencies. Campaigning shall commence from the day of publication of the lists of candidates.

As Article 51 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas says, parties that have submitted lists of candidates for elections, candidates in single-member constituencies shall be granted the right to use state mass media free of charge. The rules for preparing programs for campaigning shall be approved and the actual duration and time of the Lithuanian national radio and television programs shall be established by the Central Electoral Committee upon agreement with the heads of the Lithuanian national radio and television. The Central Electoral Committee shall allocate the time of the programs distributing it in such a manner that the following principles of equality are preserved: among the lists of candidates in the multi-member constituency; among single-member constituencies; among candidates in a single-member constituency. Each list of candidates shall be allocated no less than one hour of the state (national) radio time and no less than one hour of the state (national) television time for a debate with representatives with other list or lists of candidates. Two and more groups of representatives of lists of candidates who participate in a debate shall be formed by mutual agreement, and in the case of failure to do so - by drawing lots. Each candidate who has been nominated or has nominated himself in a single-member constituency shall be allocated at least 5 minutes of the state (national) radio. In such radio programmes candidates shall participate in a debate held for the candidates of an appropriate single-member constituency. If only one candidate participates in a programme, he shall have a discussion with a radio programme host.
The election programme of a list of candidates shall be published by the Central Electoral Committee within 20 days after its submission.
The election programme of the candidate who stands for election in a single-member constituency shall be published by the electoral committee of the constituency no later than 15 days prior to the election. The procedure for publishing election programmes shall be established by the Central Electoral Committee.
Campaigning in the commercial mass media shall be restricted only by the size of special election accounts. The procedure for specifying the campaigning on television and radio as well as in periodicals by indicating the source of funds or whether the campaigning is carried out free of charge, shall be established by the Central Electoral Committee: in respect of the campaigning on television and radio – on the recommendation of the Radio and Television Commission of Lithuania, in respect of the campaigning in periodicals – on the recommendation of the Inspector of Journalistic Ethics.

As Article 55 of the Law on Elections to the Seimas says, campaigning shall be financed from the funds received from parties or candidates for the Seimas member, which are being accumulated in a special election account opened according to the certificate issued by the Central Electoral Committee. The maximum permitted amount of money in the special election account shall be in the amount of 50 AMWs for a candidate in a single-member constituency and 1,000 AMWs for a list of candidates in the multi-member constituency. If the amount of money transferred to the appropriate account exceeds the established sum, the surplus shall be transferred by the bank to the State budget.
The use of funds allocated for campaigning shall be controlled by tax inspectorates and the Central Electoral Committee. Parties must file with the Central Electoral Committee reports of the form established by the Central Electoral Committee on the sources of funds and their use for campaigning not later than within 25 days following the announcement of final election results. The Central Electoral Committee shall publish these reports in the Valstybės žinios (The official Gazette). The candidates of single-member constituencies shall, not later than within 15 days following the announcement of final election results, file with the Central Electoral Committee in the manner specified by it reports of the prescribed form.

Campaigning shall be prohibited 30 hours before the beginning of an election and on the election day, with the exception of permanent visual campaigning material in the places intended for this, provided that it was displayed at least 48 hours prior to the beginning of the election. During the period when campaigning is prohibited no visual campaigning material (with the exception of those issued by the Central Electoral Committee) may be displayed in a polling station or within 50 meters of the building in which a polling station is situated.