New Election Law in Brazil Bans T-Shirts Giveaway and Use of Celebrities

The Brazilian Senate made further changes Wednesday, April 19, in Brazil’s electoral legislation. However, as there is a law that permits changes in electoral legislation only up to a year before elections, it is not certain that the new rules will apply in this year’s October general elections. That will be decided by the Supreme Court.

The new legislation is a response to a scandal, involving among other things, illegal election campaign financing, that has been in the news for almost a year in Brazil.

Congress is attempting to reduce the costs of elections as a way of reducing election corruption. The latest rules would prohibit the distribution of gifts such as T-shirts, hats and pens, the programing of events known as showmí­cios (basically a political rally featuring popular stars) and severely restrict the use of outdoor advertising.

The new law also prohibits the dissemination of election opinion poll results for 15 days before the vote and opens the door to the possibility of modifications of the rules governing free political ads on radio and TV.

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