Equal time on Italian court's agenda


ROME -- An Italian court on Monday will outline rules designed to assure equal television coverage for all sides ahead of April's election.

Based on a complaint that state broadcaster RAI was under-covering the center-left coalition led by Walter Veltroni, the decision to hear the case was unexpected. Traditionally, most such complaints are dismissed as political posturing.

The court has been studying television coverage of the electoral process over the past two weeks -- since his court date was announced in early March -- and will prescribe a complex remedy of minutes per time slot to make sure coverage is equitable in the final four weeks before the April 13-14 vote.

The two main candidates are media tycoon and three-time Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and former Rome mayor and RomaCinemaFest founder Walter Veltroni.