Protesters rally again against EP election debates in Russian

The issue of pre-election debates in Russian in the public media continues to be a hot topic. A few days ago there was a protest in front of the Public Electronic Mass Media Council, and on Monday there is another one.

The picket has been announced by a private individual, with around 50 people expected to turn up.

The minority-language public media platform will host pre-election debates in Russian. This has called for widespread criticism from politicians, public figures, and state bodies. The participants will be able to speak in Latvian, and an interpreter will translate the debate into Russian.  Several political forces have refused to take part in pre-election debates and broadcasts in Russian.

Last week the members of the Public Electronic Mass Media Council (SEPLP) Jānis Siksnis and Sanita Upleja-Jēgermane voted down the urging of their colleague Jānis Eglītis to amend the guidelines of the public order, which would have meant banning pre-election debates in Russian. In SEPLP's view, this would mean interference in the programming and choices of Latvian Television.

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