Saturday, 13 April 2024, 01:47:45 am

ECP issues code of conduct for upcoming general elections scheduled on Feb 8
December 20, 2023

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued a comprehensive code of conduct for the upcoming general elections scheduled on 8th February next year.

According to the code of conduct, the political parties, contesting candidates and election agents shall not propagate any opinion, or act in any manner prejudicial to the ideology, sovereignty, integrity and security of Pakistan. Besides, they shall not indulge in practices harmful to the morality, public order, and integrity of the judiciary of Pakistan, or ridicule the Armed Forces.

The code of conduct does not permit offering gifts or gratifications or inducements to any person to contest or not to contest as a candidate, or to withdraw or retire or not to withdraw or not to retire from the election. Violation will be treated as corrupt practice.

The political parties, contesting candidates and their supporters or other persons shall not encourage or enter into formal or informal agreement debarring men, women and transgender from becoming a candidate for an election or exercising their right of vote in an election. The Political Parties shall emphasize and encourage women participation in election process.

Political parties and contesting candidates shall dissuade their workers from destroying any kind of election material such as ballot paper or any official mark on the ballot paper, electoral roll, ballot boxes and screen of compartments.

Soliciting support of any government servant or any public office holder to promote or hinder the election of a contesting candidate in any manner will be prohibited. Similarly, any other public servant or person in the service of Pakistan shall not support any political party or candidate in any manner which may influence the election campaign or outcome of the election results.

Incitement to violence during pre-poll campaign or polling hours shall be strictly avoided by contesting candidates and their supporters. They shall publicly condemn violence and intimidation and not use language that might lead to violence or resort to violence. No person shall in any manner cause injury to any person or damage to any property.

Regarding the election campaign, there will be a complete ban on carriage and display of all kinds of weapons and fire arms in public meetings and processions as well as on the polling day and until twenty-four hours after the consolidation of official results by the Returning Officers and. The Political parties, candidates and election agents shall firmly restrain their workers from exerting influence on the print and electronic media, including newspapers' offices and printing presses, or resorting to violence of any kind against the media.

The President, Prime Minister, Chairman and Deputy Chairman Senate, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of an assembly, federal ministers, ministers of state, governors, chief ministers, provincial ministers and advisors to the prime minister and the chief minister, mayor, chairman, Nazim, and their deputies shall not participate in the election campaign. 

This Provision will also be applicable to caretaker setup. However, members of Senate and local government are allowed to participate in the election campaign.

On the polling day, the Political parties, candidates and election agents shall co-operate with the election officials and Law Enforcement Agencies to ensure peaceful and orderly polling and complete freedom to voters to exercise their franchise.

The District Returning Officers, Returning Officers and District Monitoring Officers shall be responsible to ensure implementation of the Code of Conduct in the area of their jurisdictions.