'Defaming' army, courts in campaigns to be a crime: ECP
13 November, 2012
LAHORE: The Election Commission of Pakistan on Monday issued the revised draft of the Code of Conduct for political parties and candidates participating in the next general elections, and outlawed defaming the judiciary and army during electioneering.
According to the ECP Punjab Office, the ECP has demanded the feedback and proposals from the political parties within next fifteen days to make the code of conduct more effective and comprehensive. Punjab Office's public relations officer Huda Gohar told that the commission had posted the revised code of conduct to all registered 198 political parties at their available postal and email addresses for review, as well as the general public to comment.
She also confirmed that the commission had ensured the acknowledgment of their posts regarding issuance of the code to the political parties at their postal and email addresses. She also informed to this scribe that the political parties now have 15 days to review the draft and send their proposals for amendments in it to the commission for the betterment of the electoral system.
In the revised draft of the Code of Conduct for political parties and candidate in next general elections, the political parties and candidates cannot propagate any defaming opinion about the judiciary and army. The president, speaker/deputy speaker of an assembly, chairman/deputy chairman Senate, prime minister, federal ministers, ministers of state, governors, chief ministers, provincial ministers and advisers to the prime minister and the chief ministers and other public office holders shall not combine their official visits with election campaign.
This provision will also be applicable to the caretaker set-up. The government functionaries and representatives shall not announce any development scheme or do anything which tends to influence the results of an election in favour or against a particular candidate or political party. The political parties, candidates or their supporters shall not procure the support or assistance of any civil servant to promote or hinder the election of a contesting candidate. The candidates and their supporters will also avoid bribing voters and canvassing within 400 yards of a polling station, including setting up of camps there.
No person or political party or a candidate and their supporters shall hoist or fix party flags on any public place or property. Wall-chalking as part of an election campaign shall be prohibited in all forms. Affixing posters, hoardings or banners larger than the sizes prescribed by the Election Commission are also banned. Political parties, candidates and their supporters after the announcement of the election schedule could not run any development project in their constituencies.
Political parties, contesting candidates and their supporters shall not use any vehicle to transport to or from the polling station any elector except himself and members of his immediate family. All transactions relating to the election expenses shall be entered with GST registered firms; violation of aforementioned provisions amounts either to corrupt practice or illegal practice, which are punishable under the law.
Issuing of advertisements at the cost of public exchequer in the newspapers and other media and misuse of official mass media during the election period for partisan coverage of political news and publicity shall be avoided by the federal, provincial and local governments.