Mazuz issues rules for election conduct

"It is our intention to make sure the laws are enforced," says Mazuz.

mazuz 88 (photo credit: )
mazuz 88
(photo credit: )
Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz issued a collection of election period do's and don'ts to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the members of his cabinet regarding their conduct during the campaign, which has already begun. "Scrupulous observance of the guidelines is obligatory by law as it also is by the nature of the democratic process which is the basis of Israeli society," wrote Mazuz. "Therefore, it is our intention to make sure the laws are enforced with regard to the various issues involved in the elections, whether they have to do with criminal enforcement, disciplinary enforcement or other means of enforcement." In an abbreviated version of the guidelines that he sent to the media, Mazuz emphasized three types of instructions - those involving running a clean campaign, those having to do with the use of public resources for political campaigns, and appointments to the civil service and other government bodies during the campaign period. Regarding the first, Mazuz pointed out that according to the Elections Law, candidates are prohibited from offering gifts as part of their campaign propaganda. Candidates are also prohibited from awarding jobs or other favors in return for political support and may not promise to allocate public resources or offer other benefits during their appeals for support. Regarding the second, Mazuz wrote that candidates may not use public property or public budgets in their campaigns. This includes using ministry information meant to cast a favorable light on the minister for political purposes. He also warned ministers and deputy ministers against using their offices as a venue for political meetings. Mazuz wrote that mayors may not use local authority employees to campaign for them and ministers may not hold public events which constitute political campaigning or conduct public opinion polls unless they clearly and exclusively pertain to the professional activities of the ministry. Mazuz also warned ministers not to make permanent appointments to their ministries or to the boards of directors of government companies during the campaign except in circumstances where such appointments were vital to the proper functioning of the organization.