BEIRUT — The candidates for the parliamentary elections, scheduled for May 15, from Thursday until polling day will not be allowed to make public statements or campaign appearances on most days, according to the government’s Electoral Supervisory Committee.
Here’s what we know:
• According to the electoral law, starting May 5, the pre-election silence period starts, during which it is strictly forbidden to broadcast any statement supporting one list over another, starting from exactly 24 hours before the first round of voting takes place, in this case, the expat votes, the first of which will occur on May 6, until the closure of ballot boxes. During this period, it shall also be forbidden to broadcast any direct electoral media story, advertisement, or call, except for unavoidable voices and/or images during the live coverage of the electoral process. The pre-election silence period shall also be applied during the non-resident elections abroad (at 12 a.m. starting May 5).
• Aly Sleem, executive director of LADE, told L’Orient Today that the law means that no candidate should be allowed to appear on any news outlet during most of this period, since elections for expats will be held on May 6 and 8 and employees who are managing the elections are scheduled to vote on May 12. “Effectively this means you have two to three days of non-electoral silence during this period,” Sleem said. He also said that LADE thinks this rule is “important because it gives the voter a period of around two weeks to think about what their choices are going to be without still being affected by campaigns and because it limits the gap between candidates who don’t have equal resources in this period.”
• On April 29, the Electoral Supervisory Committee for monitoring elections said in a statement regarding the electoral silence period that “all the different news outlets, candidates, lists and representatives of all political parties have to abide by the electoral silence period scheduled inside and outside [Lebanon].” Commenting on the statement, Sleem said that this means that “Hezbollah’s chief Hassan Nasrallah and Lebanese Forces’ Head Samir Geagea, who are not candidates in the upcoming polls, are also not allowed to speak during this period because the Electoral Supervisory Committee also said representatives of parties should abide by the rules of the silence period.”
• In its report about the 2018 parliamentary elections, LADE said that violations of the silence period came from “most media outlets and candidates and some political parties that supported them.” LADE also said that the most significant violation was when President Michel Aoun called on candidates on election day to “vote intensely.” LADE said in its report that Aoun’s “statement represents a political stance since a high or a low percentage of people voting has political consequences on parties competing.”
BEIRUT — The candidates for the parliamentary elections, scheduled for May 15, from Thursday until polling day will not be allowed to make public statements or campaign appearances on most days, according to the government’s Electoral Supervisory Committee.Here’s what we know: • According to the electoral law, starting May 5, the pre-election silence period starts, during...