Translation with SYSTRAN Links
Political pluralism and electoral campaigns

Pluralism in election time

Political pluralism and electoral campaigns

Within the framework as of missions of warranty of pluralism in election time which are entrusted to him by article 16 of the law of September 30th, 1986, the Council adopted in the deliberation n° 2011-1 of January 4th, 2011 the specific rules applicable to the treatment of the electoral news.

According to the cases, this general text is supplemented by a particular text which fixes complementary rules. It fixes for example the list of the editors held to transmit each week to the Council their statements of antenna and speaking time.

The speaking time corresponds to the diffusion of all the interventions of a candidate or his supports. The time of antenna recovers, on the one hand, the speaking time and, on the other hand, the whole of the leading elements devoted to a candidate or his supports.

The date of coming into effect of the recommendation is scheduled by the Council.

It applies to all the TV channels which concern the control of the Council, since they treat electoral campaign in their emissions. All the programs are concerned (newspapers and magazines of information, emissions of entertainment,…).

The Council carries out throughout each electoral campaign regular examinations of the antenna and speaking times in order to make sure of equity and, - as regards the election of the president of the Republic, of the equality - with regard to the access and the presentation of the candidates and their supports on the antennas.

Rules framing the access of the candidates or the parties to the antenna of the media

The principle of equity

The principle of equity implies that the television services allocate with the candidates (or with the political parties) and with their supports of the antenna or speaking times by taking account of their representativeness and their effective implication in the countryside. 

Thus, the appreciation of the concept of equity is based on two series of elements:

  • the representativeness of the candidates which takes into account, in particular, results of the candidate or political training to the most recent elections;
  • capacity to concretely express its implication in the countryside: organization of public meetings, participation in debates, designation of a financial agent, and more generally any initiative allowing to make available of the public the elements of the program of the candidate.

The principle of equality

The principle of equality constitutes a specificity of the presidential campaign. It results directly from the legislative texts and lawful relating to the election of the President of the Republic which envisage an equality between the candidates as from the beginning of the official countryside (decree n° 2001-213 of March 8th, 2001, art.15). The principle of equality implies that the their support and speaking and antenna times of the candidates are equal.

Leading rules of treatment of the countryside

Provisions appear in the deliberation of the Council concerning the need for making prevail measurement and honesty in the leading treatment and the use of extracts of declaration of the candidates. In addition, until the date of opening of the official countryside, the journalists or chroniclers who are candidates can intervene on the antennas provided that their remarks cannot have incidence likely to attack the equality of the candidates in front of the means of propaganda and to the sincerity of the poll. They must abstain from appearing on the antennas in the performance of their duty as from the opening of the official countryside and to the poll closure.

Other provisions

The deliberation of January 4th, 2011 understands also other provisions concerning in particular:

  • the access of the deaf or deaf people to the emissions: the principal hertzian national chains must take care to support the access (by subtitling or language of the signs) of the deaf or deaf people of the principal programs devoted to the electoral news diffused at the hours of strong audience.  Televisions whose audience annual average exceeds 2.5% of the total audience must ensure this access to the whole of the programs devoted to the electoral news.
  • provisions applicable to the day before and the day of the poll:  the diffusion of matter in electoral matter and elements of survey or results of the poll are prohibited the day before and the day poll to the vote closure. These provisions result in particular from the electoral code (see the L52-1 articles and L52-2 of the electoral code).

15 proposals of the CSA to reform the cover of the election campaigns and the elections in the media audiovisueLS

On September 10th, 2015, the Council made public 15 proposals which it considered desirable to implement from the point of view of the future electoral deadlines, in order to better in the future reconcile the freedom of communication and the respect of political pluralism in the audio-visual mediums.

On the basis of its observation relating to the polls which were held since 2012, the Council had announced in the month September 2014 to into force engage a reflection on the adequacy of the legislative texts and lawful with the current challenges of communication of the electoral campaigns. He heard during following months, within the framework of his working group “Pluralism and community life”, a large number of representatives of the public authorities, the editors of radio and television, of the political parties, as well as experts, to collect their contributions.

These proposals relate in particular to the election of the President of the Republic, the elections primary, the period known as “of reserve”, the modes of enforcement of the principle of equity and the audio-visual campaigns official.


Consult the 15 proposals of the CSA




See also:

Pluralism in election time with the radio

Learn more

Key dates

  • 1955 - First broadcast simultaneously on radio and TV official countryside at the time of the legislative elections

  • 1965 - First broadcast simultaneously on radio and TV official countryside for the presidential election

  • November 12th, 1969 - Adoption by the Board of directors of the ORTF of a directive which poses the principle of a pluralist access to the antenna

  • 1982 - Creation of the High ranking authority of the audio-visual communication (HACA)

  • 2000 - Definition by the Superior council of audio-visual of the “principle of reference as regards pluralism”