Anti-Abortion Walk Not in Violation of Electioneering Ban

By 25 April 2019

ZAGREB, April 25, 2019 - The State Election Commission (DIP) on Wednesday said that the "Walk for Life", an anti-abortion march to be organised by a civil society group on Mach 25 in Zagreb, Split and Zadar, is not in violation of the electioneering ban to be in force on March 25, the day before elections for the European Parliament, but that candidates running in those elections who will participate in the march have to respect electoral silence rules.

DIP recalls in a statement that it does not have any legal power to ban public gatherings, including the Walk for Life.

It underscores that electioneering begins on the day when slates are made public and ends 24 hours prior to election day, when the media blackout period begins and lasts until 1900 hours on election day.

At the coming European Parliament election, the blackout period will last from midnight May 25th to 1900 hrs May 26th.

During the blackout period "a ban shall be in force on any form of electioneering, the release of any estimates of election results or of early, unofficial election results, photographs by public media outlets, or of lead candidates' statements and interviews and their quoting." Any violation of the electioneering ban is subject to a fine.

"Consequently, the Walk for Life does not constitute a breach of electoral silence, however, election participants who will possibly attend the march are obliged to respect the relevant rules," DIP underscored.

The Movement for a Modern Croatia on Tuesday asked DIP to ban the May 25 pro-life march because it believes that the event will serve to promote some of the candidates running in elections for the European Parliament.

More news about the abortion issue in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.