Offenders may face legal action, fines and imprisonment
In an effort to keep the upcoming general election clean, the Elections Office encourages candidates to approach election debates from a footing of good sportsmanship.
In a statement issued through the Government Information Services, Supervisor of Elections Kearney Gomez and his deputies agreed that healthy debate and dialogue on election issues are an important part of the democratic process and a manifestation of the right to freedom of expression.
However, they remind candidates to refrain from using political broadcasts or any other means to engage in scandalous or defamatory statements against others.
The Elections Law also considers political broadcasts/announcements that are blasphemous, obscene, indecent, profane or scandalous to be illegal.
Candidates who engage in such practices are liable on summary conviction to a fine of $500 or to imprisonment for six months for each illegal practice.
Failing to observe these rules may result in private legal action being taken against candidates by other private citizens, but may also result in the Elections Office exercising its own powers to investigate such matters under the Elections Law.