Electoral silence starts, breaches to be penalised

Electoral silence starts, breaches to be penalised

Electoral silence starts, breaches to be penalised Izvor: REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

Electoral silence started in Croatia at midnight on Friday and it will last until 7 pm Sunday when polling stations in elections for the European Parliament will be closed.

Breaches of the electioneering ban carry fines ranging from 3,000 kuna (approx. 404 Euro) for a physical person to 10,000-30,000 kuna (approx. 1,346 - 4,040 Euro) for a candidate running in the election or a responsible person in a political party, and100,000-500,000 kuna (approx. 13,464 - 67,320 Euro) for a legal entity, including political parties.

The ban refers to any form of electoral promotion, publication of unofficial election results or their estimates, and the media release of candidates' photographs, statements or interviews with them.

Penalties will not be imposed by the State Election Commission (DIP) but by a misdemeanour court, DIP deputy chair Vesna Fabijancic-Krizanic said.

She confirmed that DIP would react to breaches of electoral silence on social networks but she could not rule out the possibility that some breaches might go unnoticed.

Billboards that voters can see out in the open will not be considered to be in violation of electoral silence, but a candidate's photograph on a media outlet's website will, she said.

Slightly more than 3.8 million Croatians, including those who live in 46 other countries, have the right to vote in Sunday's election at which 12 deputies will be elected from 396 candidates to represent Croatia in the European Parliament in the next five years.

(1€ = 7.43 kuna)

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