The Independent High Authority for the Elections (ISIE) has set the rules of the presidential election campaign which consist, essentially in the neutrality of administration, places of worship and national media and the rejection of any discourse inciting hatred, violence, intolerance and discrimination on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity and gender.
This is Resolution No. 22 of 2019 dated August 22, 2019 which has just been published in the Official Gazette of the Tunisian Republic.
Candidates and lists of candidates must refrain during their meetings from any speech likely to undermine the public order, to incite to commit a crime or a crime, or to harm the physical integrity of the candidates and electors, as well as the dignity and privacy of the candidates, reads the text of the resolution.
The ISIE also stressed the importance of the transparency of the campaign as regards financing sources and the ceiling of the election expenses, ensuring the principles of equity and equality of chances between all candidates and the respect of the physical integrity of candidates and voters, their private lives and their dignity.
In this document, the authority warns against the use of rumors and erroneous propaganda information that may mislead voters, saying these rules also apply to websites and electronic media, including social media pages and accounts, websites, blogs and applications for smartphones.
In this regard, the authority stated that encouraging voters to participate in registration, elections or referendum without directing them to any choice does not constitute an attempt to influence them.
The ISIE, however, insists on the need for the administration and public institutions to deal objectively and impartially with all candidates, lists and parties.
It pointed out, according to the text of the resolution, that electoral or referendum propaganda is strictly prohibited by any means whatsoever in the administration, institutions, public institutions, places of worship, educational institutions, universities, training institutions and private institutions not open to the public.
During the campaign and the period of silence, the authority banned the dissemination of opinion polls directly or indirectly related to elections, referendums, studies or press commentaries.
ISIE also prohibited donations in cash or in kind intended to influence the voter or to urge him to abstain.
This prohibition concerns any donation made directly or indirectly by the list of candidates, the candidate or the party, or made for their benefit.
The areas reserved for the publication of election or referendum advertising must also be respected.
The ISIE has also banned lists of candidates, candidates and parties from including or publishing new election propaganda, including on their websites and electronic media, during the period of electoral silence.
In accordance with Article 34 of the Resolution, the results of elected representatives are annulled in whole or in part by a reasoned decision if it is found that their violation of the rules of the election period and their financing have affected the results substantially and decisively.
Source: Tunisia Africa Press