Editorial: Campaign inequality leads to democratic weaknesses

All Venezuelans—and the international community—can witness through the media the notable increase in the frequency and duration of the mandatory official radio and television broadcasts when the beginning of an electoral campaign is approaching.
Government authorities have the obligation to watch over and guarantee impartiality and equality in electoral processes as prescribed by Article 293 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which establishes that “Government authorities shall guarantee the equality, reliability, impartiality, transparency and efficiency of electoral processes.” Nevertheless, Venezuelans commonly observe that such equality does not exist, and that the political actors disregard, among others: Article 145 of the Constitution, which indicates that public servants are at the service of the Nation and not of any partisan interests; the Law against Corruption, Article 13 of which prohibits public servants from earmarking public assets for partisan purposes of any kind; and Article 6 of the Electoral Processes Act, which states that public servants “may not, in the performance of their public duties, act based on their political preferences or to the detriment of any political organization.”
In the Special Regulations on the Election Campaign for the October 7 Presidential Election, which will regulate the campaign activities of presidential candidates from 6:00 a.m. on July 1 to midnight on October 4, the National Electoral Council (CNE) provided that each candidate will be able to place campaign advertisements on each national or regional television station and cable TV channel for a maximum period of three minutes per day, while national and regional radio stations will be able to broadcast messages for a maximum of four minutes per day; these time periods may not be accumulated.
Failing to observe these limits or using State assets and resources for partisan purposes distorts the equality and transparency of the elections.