On December 8, the RA Central Electoral Commission (CEC) released the events calendar for the RA Presidential Elections and announced February 18, 2013 as the ballot day.
The pre-election promotion of candidates to presidency starts on January 21 and ends on February 16, 2013. According to CEC decision, until December 18, 2012 the public and private TV and radio companies of Armenia should publish their tariffs for political advertising during the pre-election promotion. In line with the Article 19 of the RA Electoral Code, the price for 1 minute of paid airtime announced by the broadcasters should not exceed the average price for commercial advertising set for the last six months and should not be changed until the end of official campaign.
The control over the procedure for pre-election promotion on TV and radio channels is implemented by the National Commission on Television and Radio (NCTR). NCTR implements a monitoring on ensuring by TV and radio companies equal conditions for presidential candidates. The monitoring methodology must be released and presented to the CEC not later than on the 20th day after the national ballot day is announced, i.e., on December 28, 2012. Results of the NCTR monitoring are published and presented to the CEC on the 10th and 20th days of pre-election promotion (January 30 and February 3, 2013), as well as before 2 days of the announcement of the official voting results (February 23, 2013).
In accordance with the Electoral Code, each presidential candidate is entitled to 60 minutes of free and 120 minutes of paid airtime on the Public Television of Armenia. On Public Radio of Armenia the free airtime limit for each candidate makes 120 minutes, the paid airtime is 180 minutes. The procedure and schedule of providing free and paid airtime to presidential candidates by public broadcasters will be released by CEC on the next day after the official registration of the candidates, i.e., on January 15, 2013.
Article 10 of the RA Law “On Television and Radio” stipulates that during the pre-election promotion the transmission of promotional materials must have a permanent TV subtitle – "pre-election promotion", and on radio air at least three remindings of pre-election promotion during a program must be made. According to Article 60 of the Broadcast Law, violation of this provision draws a penalty in the amount of 1,000-fold of a minimum wage. A similar penalty is stipulated for the transmission of promotional materials on the ballot day and the day preceding it, when the electoral law restricts the broadcast of such pieces.