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CNE not to stop Chávez from broadcasting weekly radio and TV show during campaign

The rules on electoral advertisement and propaganda the National Electoral Council (CNE) forwarded to the opposition presidential candidates do not comprise restrictions against President Hugo Chávez' weekly radio and TV show "Aló, President!" or stop him from inaugurating public works while campaigning for re-election.

On Tuesday, the CNE directors decided to submit their draft rules to the opposition presidential pre-candidates for their consideration. However, the major aspiration the opposition players expressed was not included in the rules, namely, adopting a provision that "no candidate, on his own behalf shall rent, produce or direct TV or radio shows. If the candidate holding the Presidency has available any state-owned or private TV or radio show during the electoral campaign, then such a show should be redesigned for use not only by him but also by all candidates on equal grounds."

In article 21 of the rules, CNE establishes: "Public officials are at the service of the State rather than any political preference. Therefore, they are banned from including any electoral propaganda or advertising for or against any political organization or presidential candidacy, both while announcing public works and delivering official addresses."

The final rules are to be passed next Tuesday.

Regarding fines, the document indicates that any media disclosing electoral results ahead of time on December 3rd will have to pay fines ranging from USD 16,300 to UDS 32,600. Fines for political groups or parties running counter CNE rules would be USD 1,800-USD 5,100.

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