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Campaign restrictions before the polls

Dawn Gibson
Wednesday, April 09, 2014

SECTION 115 of the Electoral Decree 2014 discusses campaign restrictions leading up to the September 17 polls, placing particular emphasis on "unlawful" acts pertaining to campaigning, meetings and publications, among other restrictions.

Listed restrictions include that it shall be unlawful for any person, entity or organisation (including any person employed or engaged by any such person, entity or organisation) that receives any funding or assistance from a foreign government, inter-governmental or non-governmental organisation or multilateral agency to engage in, participate in or conduct any campaign (including organising debates, public forum, meetings, interviews, panel discussions, or publishing any material) that is related to the election or any election issue or matter.

"It shall be unlawful for any person, entity or organisation (including any person employed or engaged by any such person, entity or organisation) to engage in, or to undertake any act which, under the Constitution or under this Decree, is given to or assigned to the Electoral Commission or the Supervisor, unless authorised in writing by the Electoral Commission or the Supervisor," the Decree states.

"Any person who contravenes this section commits an offence and shall be liable upon conviction to a fine not exceeding $50,000 or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or to both."

These restrictions however, do not extend to universities and does not restrict universities from organising inclusive public forums or panel discussions that are related to the election.

"This section shall not apply to the Electoral Commission or the Supervisor."

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