Each CNMI Government employee needs to be aware of the rules that limit permissible political activity. The following list is intended to remind individuals of the kind of activity that they can and cannot engage in.
- What kind of political activity is allowed?
- What kind of political activity is prohibited?
- Running for office?
A CNMI civil servant:
- may vote for the candidate of his/her choice,
- may express opinions on all political subjects and candidates,
- may be a member of any political party, organization, or club, and
- may make voluntary contributions to a political organization for its general expenditures.
Public officials or public employees:
- shall not use public funds, time, personnel, or equipment for political activity unless that use is authorized by law or is incidental to a legally authorized or required activity. For example, they shall not at any time circulate any petition, including a nominating petition, in a government office,
- shall not discharge, promote, demote, or change the status or compensation of any other official or employee or promise or threaten to do so:
- for making or not making any contribution for a political objective,
- because of the official's or employee's political actions or beliefs,
- because of the official's or employee's failure to take any political action,
- because of the official's or employee's support or non- support of a candidate seeking elective office, a political party, an initiative, or referendum.
- shall not hand over to other officials or employees any money or other thing of value to promote any political objective.
- shall not use their office or influence to:
- interfere with an election, or affect its results, or
- coerce the political action of any person or party.
- shall not be obliged to contribute to any political fund or to render any political service nor will they be removed for refusing to do so.
- shall not be pressured or coerced into political activities or support for political parties or candidates by threats to their employment.
- shall not solicit or receive political contributions from anyone while on government time on government property, or in government offices.
- shall not campaign for any candidate for public office during official working hours.
- shall not promote or oppose legislation relating to programs of departments without the official sanction of the proper departmental authority.
Neither a candidate for election, a public official, nor a public employee shall solicit or assess any contribution from any member in the Civil service.
CNMI employees become official candidates for office when the Board of Elections certifies their candidacy. At that time, all such employees who are not elected officials must take annual leave or go into a leave without pay status.
Note: The information above is a compilation of CNMI laws and regulations pertaining to political campaign activity.