ECP issues code of conduct for by-elections
19 January, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan on Friday issued a code of conduct for by-election in seven constituencies of provincial assemblies of Punjab and Sindh to ensure transparency and guard against the corrupt practices.
The directive issued for holding the by-election in free, fair and transparent manner will apply to all constituencies where the by-elections are being conducted, including Punjab Assembly constituency PP-239 Vehari-VIII; and the constituencies of Sindh Provincial Assembly PS-73 Jamshoro-cum- Dadu; PS-84 Thatta-I; PS-101 Karachi-XIII; PS-103 Karachi-XV; PS-113 Karachi-XXV; and PS-115 Karachi-XXVII. The commission has stated in its directive that none of the contesting candidates shall exceed the limit of election expenses of Rs 1.5 million for the National Assembly constituency and Rs 1 million for provincial assembly constituency, in terms of sub-section (2) of Section 49 of the Representation of the People Act 1976.
Each contesting candidate shall open an account with a scheduled bank on or before January 26 and deposit therein an amount not exceeding Rs 1,500,000 for the National Assembly constituency and Rs 1,000,000 for provincial assembly constituency, to meet the election expenses. All election expenditures shall be made out of the amount deposited in these accounts and no transaction for the election expenses shall be made through an account other than the account opened for the purpose, while all transactions relating to the election expenses shall be entered with GST registered firms.
The commission has further directed that each contesting candidate shall file a declaration about the expenditures on or before January 26 after issuance of this directive with the returning officer. Every contesting candidate shall maintain his account of election expenditure on a day-to-day basis and each contesting candidate shall submit to the district returning officer on every Thursday of the campaign period, a statement of election expenses made by him during the preceding week in terms of Section 50 of the said Act.
About election campaign, the commission has stated in its directive that car rallies will not be allowed to travel long distances except if they have pre-arranged corner meetings at specific designated places. These meetings shall be notified to the ordinary public by the local administration and the local administration must also ensure that all candidates are accommodated indiscriminately. No person or a political party shall affix posters, hoardings or banners larger than the prescribed sizes that include the posters of (2-feet x 3-feet) size, hoardings of (3-feet x 5-feet), banners of (3-feet x 9-feet) and leaflets and handbills of (9-inches x 6 inches) size. It has further been directed that no person or a political party shall hoist or fix party flags on any public property or at any public place, except with the permission in writing from, and on payment of such fee or charges as may be chargeable by the concerned local government or authorities.
Wall-chalking as part of an election campaign shall be prohibited in all forms; loudspeakers shall not be used for election campaign except at the election meetings; the political parties and candidates shall convey their schedule of meeting at least one week in advance to the local administration who shall be responsible for making appropriate security arrangements and regulating such meetings in such a manner that equal opportunities are provided to the contesting candidates interested in holding rallies and meetings.
The contesting candidates shall follow the code of conduct for the political parties and contesting candidates issued for general elections 2008 except in so far as it is inconsistent with this directive and the judgement of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The election commission shall review all election activities including jalsas, jaloos and use of loudspeakers etc. to ensure the fairness, justness and the honesty of the election process. About setting up camps near the polling stations, the commission has stated that establishment of camps near the polling stations on the polling day in respective constituencies by the political parties, the contesting candidates or their supporters have been banned in terms of Section 84 of the Act and the judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.