The Elections Department or ELD has released a slew of new guidelines for GE candidates to follow. The Parliamentary Election Candidates 2015 handbook, acts as a guide for election candidates and their polling agents to comply with all Parliamentary Election laws.

In the handbook, it states that “Candidates should conduct election campaigning in a responsible and dignified manner that befits the seriousness of the election process. Candidates should steer away from negative campaigning practices based on hate and denigration of opposing candidates, and should not make false statements that allege corruption or commission of criminal offences, or statements that may cause racial or religious tensions or affect social cohesion.”

In the elections handbook for GE2011, there were no such similar guidelines.

These guidelines appear to make sense but the question as to who the executioner of such a law is awaits to be seen. Would it be the Elections Department which falls under the Prime Minister’s Office? Or would a neutral ombudsman be appointed for the purpose of apply the Parliamentary Elections laws without fear or favour.

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