The Palestinian Law comprises many articles related to the organisation of the media coverage of the elections, including the campaigns of candidates, the polling day, the day the results are announced as well as observing/oversight over the electoral process.
The articles of the law provide for establishing a committee jointly with the mass media to prepare a specific programme with the allocated schedule for liberal and free-of-charge media coverage for all candidates and electoral lists, taking into consideration the necessity of ensuring equal opportunities for candidates and lists. Objections to the programme must be presented to the Committee within 24 hours, at most.
Here are some interesting excerpts from the law:
Tone and location
Article 66 prohibits the defamation or insulting of other candidates, the organisation of political rallies in mosques or churches or near hospitals or public institutions, placing electoral posters or banners in public venues not allocated to the electoral campaign, using the Palestinian National Authority logo in any of their electoral campaign and using government cars and equipment in the electoral campaign. This article holds the manager or coordinator of the electoral campaign accountable for ensuring compliance with the above-mentioned provisions.
Article 67 concerns the removal of the campaign signs. Electoral lists shall remove all their campaign signs within two weeks of the end of the electoral process. The Committee shall impose a guarantee of at least USD 10,000 guarantee to ensure the adherence of the list to the electoral campaign provisions.
Funding of campaigns
Article 68 concerns the sources of funding for the electoral campaign. Electoral candidates shall not, directly or indirectly, receive any funds for the electoral campaigns from non-Palestinian foreign or external sources. Each candidate shall submit, within one month at most of the announcing the final results, a detailed statement of their funding sources. Moreover, the Committee may request the audits of the financial statements by a certified auditor.
Article 69 concerns the limitations of campaign spending. Candidates may not spend more than USD 1 million or its equivalent.
Article 70 concerns observing the elections and media coverage. Accordingly, the electoral process shall be conducted transparently and publicly to enable the observers and the media to observe it. All local and international observers and journalism and media representatives shall be accredited by the Committee. The Committee shall issue a card for such observers and representatives. All election personnel, including but not limited to the police, shall facilitate the aforesaid process.
The Central Elections Commission approved an accreditation system for journalists for both the general and local elections and for the SPJ Code of Ethics while covering the electoral process.