Report No. 255
8.17. Section 78C of the Parliamentary Elections Act, 2001, restricts the publication of electoral opinion poll results and imposes an outright prohibition on the publication of exit polls. The blackout period for the publication of opinion poll results begins with the issuance of the 'writ of election', at the very beginning of the election campaign, and ends with the close of all polling stations on polling day.366. Therefore, the publication of poll surveys is prohibited for the entire period of elections. Furthermore, the Act lays down that any violation of the above provision shall be a criminal offence with a fine not exceeding $1,000 and/ or imprisonment for a maximum of 12 months.
366. Section 78C of the Parliamentary Elections Act, 2001