05:45 GMT +322 November 2019
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    A worker packs ballots for Spain's upcoming elections in a warehouse in Alcala de Henares, near Madrid, Spain, June 15, 2016

    Spain’s Electoral Commission Founds Violations by Acting Prime Minister Ahead of Snap Vote

    © REUTERS / Andrea Comas
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    MADRID (Sputnik) – Spain’s central electoral commission Junta Electoral Central (JEC) said it had decided to impose disciplinary sanctions on caretaker Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and one of the ministers in his cabinet for violating neutrality principle ahead of snap elections.

    The JEC decision followed a complaint against the representatives of the socialist government filed by the opposition conservative People's Party.

    The party claimed that in his recent interview for La Sexta TV channel, Sanchez violated the neutrality principle that prohibits officials from endorsing any political movement ahead of elections.

    The JEC ruled that some of Sanchez’s statements made in the interview had some "campaign context" but did not violate the law by themselves due to the freedom of speech in Spain.

    The commission also noted that the fact that the interview had been recorded in the prime minister’s residence and was subsequently published on the cabinet’s website might have constituted a legal violation.

    The JEC also found that statements by acting Education Minister Isabel Celaa about the government’s achievements in increasing the number of economically active population violated the law.

    Additionally, the People’s Party complained about Sanchez's TV address during the recent reburial of dictator Francisco Franco but the JEC found no violations in it.

    Sanchez and Celaa may face fines of 300 to 3,000 euros ($334 to $3,344).

    The campaign officially starts in Spain on Friday while the snap elections are scheduled for November 10.

    Spanish People's Party, vote, Pedro Sánchez, Spain
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