EC: No fancy poster war

The Star
Tuesday October 30, 2007
PUTRAJAYA: The number of posters, billboards and structures of political parties will be restricted and those that do not follow the Election Commission guidelines will be removed.

In particular, the EC does not want parties using trees to put up posters.
“For instance, a car can only string three posters on its bonnet or roof.
“But we won’t restrict to the point that people feel that they are being limited in their expression and participation during the polls,” said EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman.
He said the guidelines, which would be issued soon and distributed to all political parties, were meant to allow each politician the opportunity and space to display their posters.
“The Government has agreed that it should be the commission’s officers who will enforce this during the campaigning period.
“If political parties do not follow these guidelines, their posters will be taken down,” Abdul Rashid told reporters after the commission’s Hari Raya open house at Puspanita here yesterday.
“We will also not hesitate to ask them or the local authorities to tear down their billboards. Curbing this poster war will help political parties to save costs,” he said.
“Under our guidelines, the local authorities will provide space and there is no need to fight. Voters must be the deciding factor in an election, not the posters,” he said.
Abdul Rashid said there would be penalties for any politician or party that did not comply with the guidelines.
He said election commissioners had been briefed on the preparations for the general election and returning officers and their assistants would be briefed from Nov 15.
Abdul Rashid said the EC has no objection to political parties sponsoring trips for voters to go home and cast their ballots in their hometowns.
“The political parties always complain that the voters cannot be found at their old addresses.
“But in our study, we find that many people who have registered as voters in their hometowns will still go back to vote, particularly among Negri Sembilan and Kelantan voters,” he said.