Police Seek to Abolish Pre-Election Political Ad Bans ({{commentsTotal}})

The police have asked the Constitutional Committee to abolish the ban on outdoor political ads that kicks in 40 to 45 days before elections, saying the relevant legislature is confusing and processing complaints is time-consuming.

Siiri Pars of the Police and Border Guard Board told Postimees today that current laws fail to define terms such as "outdoor ad" and "logo," which makes the processing of any complaints difficult. She added that there are many ads that people perceive as being of political nature, but which are legally permitted

A second, similar problem is the ban on active campaigning on the day of the elections, which is also weakly defined by laws, according to Pars. 

All political outdoor advertisements are banned 40 to 45 days before the actual date of either local, parliamentary or European Parliament elections, with fines of up to 1,200 euros for individuals, and 3,200 for legal bodies, who violate the rule.

Police received 150 complaints related to ads and campaigning in the run-up to the last local elections, held exactly two months ago.

Politicians from both the opposition and coalition criticized laws governing political ads at the time of those elections, but the only bill so far drafted is oriented toward banning ads by local governments.