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The Dos And Don’ts Of Election Campaigning

Election candidates are prohibited from disseminating information that amounts to racial or religious vilification and threatens or incites violence against any group of people.
28 Apr 2022 05:00
The Dos And Don’ts Of Election Campaigning
2022 General Election

Election candidates are prohibited from disseminating information that amounts to racial or religious vilification and threatens or incites violence against any group of people.

This was one of the rules included in the list of campaigning do’s and don’ts that were launched in the Candidates Handbook by the Fijian Elections Office ahead of the start of the official campaigning period.

 

Do’s – What Candidates Must Do;
„ Respect the rights and freedoms of all other political parties and candidates to campaign, and to publish their political ideas and principles without fear;

„ Conduct yourselves in a manner that respects the rights of other political parties and candidates, and respects the rights of voters;

„ Co-operate with election officials in order to ensure a peaceful, orderly polling and complete freedom for voters to exercise their right to vote without being subjected to any annoyance, harassment or obstruction;

„ Ensure the safety and security of electoral officials before, during and after polling;

„ Respect and co-operate with observers;

„ Maintain and aid in maintaining the secrecy of the vote; and

„ Organise and conduct your election campaign in a manner that contributes towards a friendly and peaceful atmosphere during the campaign.

 

Don’t – What Candidates Must Not Do;
„ Prevent the distribution of handbills and leaflets, or the display of posters of other parties and candidates;

„ Vandalise or destroy the posters of other parties and candidates;

„ Prevent any other party from holding rallies, meetings, marches or demonstrations;

„ Imitate the symbols of another political party or candidate, or steal, vandalise or destroy political or campaign materials of another political party or candidate;

„ Encourage, engage in or permit any kind of violent activity to demonstrate party strength or to prove supremacy;

„ Cause damage to any public or private property during any campaign;

„ Induce voters to vote for or against a particular party or candidate, or to abstain from voting, by offering them money or any other kinds of incentives;

„ Coerce or offer money or other kinds of direct inducements to anyone for them to stand or not to stand as candidates, or to withdraw or not to withdraw their candidacies;

„ Procure the support or assistance of any election official or public servant to promote or hinder the election of a candidate;

„ Prevent any person from attending the political rallies of another party;

„ Encourage, incite or permit its supporters to do anything that is prohibited by this subsection;

„ Procure votes by forcible occupation of polling stations or through illegal activities in the polling stations;

„ Interfere with the duties of election officials,

„ Disturb the process of casting or counting the votes;

„ Falsely inform voters that their votes will not be secret; or

„ Use any language or publish any document that seeks to threaten or incite hatred or violence in any form against any other person or group of people or which may amount to racial or religious vilification.

 

Among other campaigning rules are the prohibition of using state authority, law and tax enforcement to pressure or intimidate political opposition, prohibition of using public officers and offices to conduct campaign and the prohibition of using government vehicles for campaigns unless the vehicle is used to provide security.

The Candidates Handbook can be downloaded from the Fijian Elections Office website.

 

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj



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