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Crimes Against Public Elections And Voting


Article 466- Disturbance and Prevention of Electoral Meetings and Proceedings.
(1)    Whoever in any way improperly prevents, disturbs, obstructs or interrupts authorized civic or electoral meetings, or polling or elections duly held under the supervision of competent authorities,
is punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding one year, and fine not exceeding one thousand Birr.
(2)    Where violence is used against persons or property, or where brawls or riotous disturbances are fomented, the relevant provisions apply concurrently.

Article 467- Interference with the Exercise of the Right or Voting or Election.
(1)    Whoever by intimidation, coercion, abuse of power or violence, by fraud, especially by changing names, by concealing or withholding a notice or summons, or by any other trick or method:
(a)    prevents a person from exercising his legitimate right to vote or to be elected; or
(b)    secures by such means his undertaking to exercise, or induces him to exercise, his right in a particular way, or to abstain from exercising it,
is punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding one year, or fine.
(2)    Whoever does a wrong or an injury to another who has exercised his right in  particular way, or has abstained from exercising it, in pursuance of his admitted right to use it as he wishes, is liable to the same punishments.

Article 468- Corrupt Electoral practices.
(1)    Whoever, directly, promises or grants a sum of money, or any other advantage whatsoever to an individual, in order to persuade him to exercise his right to vote or to be elected in particular way or to abstain from exercising it,
Is punishable with rigorous imprisonment not exceeding five years, and fine.
(2)    Whoever possessing the right to vote or to be elected, accepts or agrees to accept a sum of money or any other advantage, in consideration of exercising his right, or exercising it in particular way, or of abstaining from exercising it, is liable to the same punishments.

Article 469- Unfair Practices.
(1)    Any candidate who, contrary to law or directives, directly or indirectly, collects or receives money from an individual, group or organization, for expenses in connection with his election, or fails to observe the accounting rules of electoral expenses, or intentionally declares a lesser amount than his actual electoral expenses,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding one year, or fine.
(2)    Whoever, without obtaining the consent of the candidate, raises or grants money, or contributes in any way to cover the election expenses of a candidate, is liable to the same punishments.
(3)    Whoever, directly or through an intermediary, fraudulently secures, abuses or misappropriates votes:
(a)    with the help of false news or rumours circulated by word of mouth or by correspondence, by pamphlets or placards, or by the press, the radio or any other medium of publicity; or
(b)    with the help of any other fraudulent, irregular or dishonest practices, is punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding one year, or fine not exceeding five thousand Birr.

Article 470- Fraudulent Registration.
(1)    Whoever:
(a)    causes himself to be entered on an electoral list or register under a false name or title or in a false capacity, or without disclosing an incapacity recognized by law; or
(b)    causes himself to be entered on two or more lists at one and the same time, or improperly accepts or causes to be issued more than one election of voting card; or
(c)    improperly causes third persons, whether living, missing, deceased or fictitious, to be registered, or receives cards in their name,
is punishable with simple imprisonment not exceeding one year, or fine not exceeding one thousand Birr.
(2)    Where the crime specified under sub-article (1) is committed by a candidate, the punishment shall be rigorous imprisonment not exceeding two years, or fine not exceeding ten thousand Birr.

Article 471- Fraudulent Elections.
Whoever, during official elections of any kind, falsifies the true result thereof by acts done before, during or after the proceedings, especially:
a)    by counterfeiting, falsifying, altering or defacing, or by retaining, destroying or making away with electoral registers, completed electoral lists or deposited ballot papers; or
b)    by voting more than once in the same election; or
c)    by adding ballot papers to the ballot boxes, or removing them therefrom, or by causing or permitting to vote improperly, in any manner whatsoever, persons domiciled outside the constituency, unqualified, disqualified, deceased or non-existent persons, or by depositing or knowingly permitting to be deposited in the ballot boxes invalid, falsified or counterfeit ballot papers; or
d)    by incorrectly counting or deliberately omitting votes, ballot papers, names or signatures, by reading out names or signatures other than those written down or by recording in the summary of proceedings or the official return a result other than the true one; or
e)    by withholding, concealing, altering or destroying electoral returns or documents, or by improperly hading them over to persons not qualified to receive them,
is punishable with simple imprisonment or fine.

Article 472- Concurrence of Crimes.
Where the fraud or falsification is carried out by means of intangible or material forgery (Arts. 375 and 376) the relevant provision applies concurrently.

Article 473- Breach of Secrecy of the Ballot.
a)    by any unlawful means succeeds in discovering the way in which an elector has exercised his right or cast his vote; or
b)    having fortuitously learned of such a fact, intentionally makes it public and spreads it, whether by word of mouth, by way of the press or otherwise,
is punishable with simple imprisonment or fine.

Article 474- Removal or Destruction of Ballot Papers or Boxes.
(1)    Whoever removes, makes away with or destroys ballot boxes containing votes or marked ballot papers not yet counted or the votes or ballot papers contained therein, in whole or in part,
Is punishable with simple imprisonment or fine.
(2)    Where the crime is committed by more than one person or is accompanied by violence, the punishment is rigorous imprisonment not exceeding ten years, without prejudice to increase of sentence with respect to chiefs or ringleaders (Art. 84(d)).
(3)    Acts of violence or coercion against a polling station or electoral or polling officers are punishable in accordance with the provisions of Articles 440 to 442.

Article 475- Additional Penalties.
Where an electoral crime is punished by imprisonment, the Court shall at all times order temporary deprivation of civic rights for a definite period (Art. 123(a)).

Article 476- Aggravating Circumstances.
Where the person charged with a crime under this Title is a public servant or an official member or scrutinizer of an electoral or polling station, simple imprisonment shall be from one month up to one and a half times the punishment generally prescribed, where the act does not come under a specific provision such as that relating to abuse of powers (Art. 407) or that relating to breach of official secrecy (Art 397).
In more serious cases, or where the crime is repeated, the Court may add fine to the punishment of imprisonment.