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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Politicians advertise and often break the law. “We can’t put ads where we like”

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The pre-campaign continues. There are posters, there are banners – and politicians on them. Not officially candidates. Is all this legal?

The inhabitants of Wrocław noticed a huge number of posters by Agnieszka Soin, a PiS MP, which were placed illegally. When the Wrocław municipal police began to remove them, Agnieszka Soin was supposed to personally call the commander. – It was not a conversation, but a monologue, an attempt to exert influence, a kind of intimidation, even a punishable threat aimed at making the guards abandon their investigations, to withdraw from the official activities they were performing – explains Paweł Szereda from the Municipal Guard in Wrocław. The city police decided to notify the prosecutor’s office.

In Mieroszów near Wałbrzych, banners with Michał Dworczyk were hung on the fence of one of the universities – without the consent of the landowner. They’ve already been removed. – The banner was secured by the city guard and a letter was sent to Mr. Dworczyk’s office to collect. It must be remembered that in such cases the law is broken, to put it bluntly: the Code of Petty Offences, Article 63. You cannot hang various types of advertisements where you like. This is not strictly an election announcement, because it encourages you to visit the MP’s office – explains Edward Szewczak from the Municipal Office in Wałbrzych.

Trzaskowski about three things about women’s rights that PO will do if he wins the electionTVN24

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Common practice

However, this method is also used by others. The National Electoral Commission writes directly that the Election Code does not limit activities that do not bear the characteristics of election campaigning, including the dissemination of content that does not relate to the elections and the intention to stand, in particular those undertaken by persons performing public functions. Hence, the posters and banners encourage contact with the parliamentary office or – as in the case of MP Paweł Olszewski from the Civic Platform – first an invitation to the march on June 4, and then a thank you for participating in the march – hanging in Bydgoszcz.

– A normal billboard, a normal layout, nothing special, not very distinctive, no election agitation, no party logo, I invited all the inhabitants of Bydgoszcz, regardless of party affiliation – explains Paweł Olszewski, PO MP.

Parliamentary elections in 2023. Joachim Brudziński became the chief of staff of PiS

Parliamentary elections in 2023. Joachim Brudziński became the chief of staff of PiSJakub Sobieniowski/Fakty TVN

Legal loophole

The election campaign formally starts on the day the president announces the election date, and this decision has still not been made. All political parties already organize conventions, rallies and meetings with voters, which politicians themselves informally call pre-campaign, which is formally not regulated in the Polish legal system.

– There will always be such a gap, especially when it comes to people who run in elections and at the same time are already in power, are members of the government, and can use various state resources to inform about what they are doing with a pinch of salt – says Grzegorz Makowski from the Stefan Batory Foundation.

Deputy Minister of Justice Michał Woś, during the celebration of the Prison Service Day in Rybnik, distributed tree seedlings with his image. The head of the political office of Deputy Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński, Michał Moskal, wishes “safe holidays” on his way to Lublin. In an interview with “Kurier Lubelski”, he assures that all parties use large-format prints and PiS cannot stand out from the opposition in this field. Michał Moskal is not an MP, he does not have an MP’s office, but he intends to stand as a candidate in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Main photo source: Facts after noon TVN24



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