The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday tossed a challenge to a Greek ban on political polling 15 days before an election, finding voters aren’t harmed by the law.
Five Greek nationals took their government to the EU’s human rights court over the 2009 re-enactment of a law banning all political polling – and the media’s dissemination of poll results to the public – 15 days prior to parliamentary or EU elections. Failure to comply with the law results in fines ranging from $36,000 to $360,000.
Failure to comply with the law results in fines ranging from $36,000 to $360,000.
The voters complained the law deprived them of the necessary information to exercise their right to vote effectively, and that the ban violated their right to freely receive information.
On Thursday, however, the EU rights court dismissed the action with prejudice since the five voters acknowledged the ban hadn’t kept them from voting in elections. Furthermore, the court found the ban on political polling and reporting on poll results affected all voters equally and did not specifically target the five plaintiffs.
The court’s decision was only available in French at press time.
Top photo | File – A man waves a Greek flag in front of the Greek Parliament during a rally against new austerity measures in Athens, Thursday, May 18, 2017. (AP/Yorgos Karahalis)