Road to 2015: INEC tightens regulations on political adverts, campaigns

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Ahead of the 2015 general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission on Friday stated that it had revised the regulations contained in its Code of Conduct governing political advertisements and campaigns with a view to ensuring strict compliance by parties and their candidates.

The INEC chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, stated this in an interview with journalists on the sidelines of an international seminar with the theme: “Political Advertising, Perception Building and Voter Education,” organized by the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria.

According to him, the  seminar was an opportunity for advertisers to reach out to politicians that “all expertise should be put to good use for the purposes of organizing very clean and positive campaigns that will help them win elections rather than the kind of uncivil campaigns that take place in our country.”

He said, “It is very important that we regulate and sanitize our campaigns. A lot of that sanitation can be done without regulation if only politicians can change their attitudes and mindsets. But we in INEC have revised the regulations governing campaigns and we have already shared a draft of those guidelines to political parties.

“We hope to finalize it and very soon, we will put it into effect so that political parties will know clearly where to draw the lines and the sanctions that would apply if they do not act according to the rules and regulations.

“I think what this seminar has showed is that you can learn good practice from other countries and factor it into your own preparations. It is very important that we sanitize the electoral process and political campaigns. They should be research-based, well informed and expertise should be brought to bear in the preparation and conduct of political campaigns.”



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