Egypt has Published New Guidelines for Next Month’s National Elections.
Under the guidelines of Egyptian Minister of Interior Habib Al Adli published in the local press, candidates must commit themselves to the rules of the constitution and law.
Election slogans should not contain any statements, drawings, pictures or expressions calling for contempt, hatred, opposition or rejection of principles on which the regime of the state is based.
The guidelines prohibit preaching of hatred, opposing Egypt's affiliation to the Arab nation, or casting doubt on the commitment of the Egyptian people to this affiliation. Candidates must not undermine social peace or national unity. The promotion of ideas that harm religious faith and spiritual values or spreading provocative propaganda, news or rumors that might harm or jeopardize national unity, is banned under the new guidelines. The use of violence or resisting the authorities in order to achieve campaigning goals is unacceptable.
The guidelines also prohibit the use of provocative advertisement based on slander, news, or false statements against rival candidates or their families. On campaign finances, the guidelines limit spending to LE 10,000 ($US2,200) per candidate. Candidates are not allowed to pay voters money. Police will determine where campaign material will be posted and candidates must obtain permission from police for holding electoral meetings in marquees at least 24 hours in advance.
No advertisements can in placed on vehicles. Internal microphones may be used during the campaign only if the voice does not go beyond the meeting place. No loudspeakers are permitted. The Minister of Interior pledged that police would be neutral in dealing with all candidates.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)