Sunday, April 18, 2021

Day of reflection. CNE maintains reservations about abolition, IL says it is an obsolete figure

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André Kosters / Lusa

This Tuesday, the CS (CNE) unanimously approved an opinion expressing caution in relation to changes in electoral laws.

In relation to the IL Draft Bill, which advocates eliminating the day of reflection on the eve of the elections and voting on two consecutive days, the CNE says that legislators in several countries “only make changes to electoral procedures” when they are strictly necessary “for the smooth running” of the processes.

According to Expresso, the Bill that IL takes to Parliament on Thursday argues that, in addition to state paternalism, “there is no scientific evidence” that the 24 hours of reflection on the eve of the vote contribute “in fact to a choice more thoughtful and rational ”.

João Cotrim Figueiredo maintains that the stability of the democratic system in the country, the new reality of social networks and the vote on mobility in the middle of the campaign made “the figure of the day of reflection completely obsolete”.

Despite noticing an increase in non-compliance with the use of social networks, the CNE guarantees that, even so, it does not invalidate the party’s conclusion.

As there is no international or European standard on the day of reflection, and in cases where propaganda is admitted to the polling place itself, the CNE maintains that, if the option is to change this national rule, “it is good that , from the same step, reflect on the rules that prohibit advertising polling stations and when it should be withdrawn ”.

“The need for a reassessment of the rules that govern the news coverage electoral campaigns, in order to ensure that public and private entities holding social media offer equal opportunities to all candidacies and do not discriminate against them ”, also defends the National Elections Commission.

Regarding voting in two days, the CNE considers the essential issue to be the guarantee of the inviolability of electoral materials and the confidence of citizens, achieved “by keeping the ballot papers marked by voters out of the reach of those who preside over voting operations and those who supervise them before the result is determined and made public ”.

The two-day vote, “alongside the indiscriminate extension of early voting”, will lead to the duplication the number of citizens involved in the electoral process and, therefore, an increase in spending. It will also oblige the “diversion of facilities”, which will affect schools, for example.

The Liberal Initiative delivered a project that ends the Saturday of reflection prior to any electoral act. In defense of the extinction of the day of reflection, the party argues that several countries do not have this legal figure, as is the case in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Austria and the Netherlands.

Liliana Malainho Liliana Malainho, ZAP //

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