Akşener not to make propaganda speech on state broadcaster TRT
İYİ (Good) Party leader Meral Akşener has decided to not appear on the state-run TRT to deliver her 10-minute speech to campaign for the upcoming June 24 elections, amid her criticism of the TV channel for giving disproportionate airtime to opposition parties.
The opposition party leader decided not to use her party’s 10-minute propaganda right on the public broadcaster TRT after the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) rejected the party’s request to have someone else appear in the propaganda video, a statement from the party read on June 12.
Akşener has been criticizing the state broadcasting institution of being biased, accusing them of imposing a total blackout against her. She requested not to appear in the broadcast videos by suggesting another İYİ Party official to speak instead of her.
But after the YSK rejected her request, the party withdrew the election videos.
Muharrem İnce, the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) presidential candidate, also withdrew from delivering his 10-minute speech, citing the same criticism.
According to election law, all political parties with a group in parliament have the right to make two 10-minute pre-recorded propaganda speeches on state television, while the ruling party has 20 minutes. The same right applies to the presidential candidates. But the TRT has been accused of favoring the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
HDP’s jailed candidate Demirtaş campaigns from behind bars
Meanwhile, the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) presidential candidate, Selahattin Demirtaş, will speak from Edirne Prison, where he has been jailed since late 2016.
He was arrested in November 2016 over terror charges.
For the propaganda video, a production team has gone to the prison with an official from the Supreme Board of Elections. His speech was recorded in prison.
Demirtaş has been using his right to speak on the phone with his family to carry out election campaigns. He has been sending voice messages to his wife to make his voice heard.