As Lebanon gears up for its first parliamentary elections in 9 years, candidates are spending big money on their last-minute push to garner recognition and get people out to vote.
According to the AFP news agency, advertising on a single Lebanese talk show episode can cost up to $240,000. This includes a full episode where a candidate can present their plans and ideas.
An on-air interview can cost about $6,000 per minute, the AFP added.
Laury Haytayan, a parliamentary candidate in the Beirut I district, believes the high-cost of advertising gives political power-players an unfair advantage.
“The people who can pay $200,000 for advertising are those who are already in power,” Haytayan said. “The traditional parties remain control.”
According to the Lebanese National News Agency, the parliamentary elections are already showing historic numbers. This will be the first time Lebanese citizens abroad will be eligible to vote.
The state-run agency said the number of registered voters is 82,970, with 12,609 living in the Middle East.
To see more on the AFP report on political advertising in Lebanon, click here.