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Slovakia: Radio And TV Council Decided On Restrictions Before Elections

By Daniel Butora

Bratislava, 11 September 1998 (RFE/RL) -- Slovakia is restricting political programming on radio and television in the run-up to its parliamentary elections this month, saying they violate restrictions on campaigning.

The Slovak Radio and Television Council decided yesterday to stop a political program on pro-government Slovak Public Television, council chairman Peter Juras told reporters in Bratislava.

He said the Council also ruled that three independent broadcasters -- Markiza television, Radio Twist, and Radio Free Europe -- must broadcast public announcements that they have violated the election law in their programming.

Earlier, the Council stopped a show on Markiza television, which is close to the opposition. It also threatened the three independent stations with revoking their broadcasting licenses over alleged violations of the restrictions.

The law prohibits media from airing any campaigning apart from parties' official election campaigns for 30 days prior to voting.

Slovak parliamentary elections are scheduled for September 25-26.