EC issues code of conduct for general elections

Islamabad: The Election Commission EC has issued code of conduct for the general elections after consultation with all major political parties on Tuesday. Under the new code of conduct‚ the political parties and candidates would not propagate any opinion or act in any manner prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan or the sovereignty‚ integrity and security of Pakistan‚ or which defames or brings into ridicule the judiciary and the armed forces of Pakistan.

The parties and candidates will abide by all the laws‚ rules‚ regulations and directions issued by the Commission‚ from time to time‚ relating to smooth conduct of elections and the maintenance of public order.

The political parties and candidates would at all times uphold the rights and freedom of the people of Pakistan as guaranteed by the Constitution and law. All contesting candidates and their supporters shall avoid those activities which are offences under the election laws‚ such as bribing of voters‚ intimidation and personation‚ canvassing within 400 yards of a polling station including setting up of camps‚ and holding public meetings before forty eight hours of polling.

Incitement to violence or resort to violence during meetings‚ processions‚ or during polling hours shall be strictly avoided by contesting candidates and their supporters. They would not procure the support or assistance of any person in the service of Pakistan to promote or hinder the election of a contesting candidate.

Contesting candidates shall dissuade their workers or sympathizers from destroying any ballot paper or any official mark on the ballot paper.

No person or political party or a contesting candidate and their supporters would hoist or fix party flags on any public property or at any public place‚ except with the permission in writing from local government or authorities and on payment of such fee or charges as may be chargeable.

Wall chalking as part of an election campaign will be prohibited in all forms. Similarly use of loudspeaker would not be allowed for election campaign except at the election meetings.

No person or a political party will affix posters‚ hoardings or banners larger than the sizes prescribed by the Election Commission. The political parties would not indulge in offering gifts or gratifications or inducements to any person to stand or not to stand as a candidate‚ or to withdraw or not to withdraw his candidature.

After the announcement of the election schedule till the day of polling‚ no candidate or any person on his behalf shall‚ openly or in secret‚ give any donation‚ or make promise for giving donation to any institution of their respective constituency or to any other institution.

Contesting candidates and their supporters shall refrain from speeches calculated to arouse parochial and sectarian feelings and controversy of conflicts between genders‚ sects‚ communities and linguistic groups.

The political parties shall refrain from deliberate dissemination of false and malicious information and shall not indulge in forgeries and disinformation to defame other political parties.

Political parties will not use any vehicle to transport to or from the polling station.

Political parties will not propagate against the participation of any person in the elections on the basis of gender‚ ethnicity‚ religion or caste.

No transaction towards the election expenses will be made through an account other than the account opened for the purpose.

The political parties shall extend all necessary help to law enforcement agencies for purposes of ensuring the safety and security of election materials‚ election officials and polling agents on polling day.

The Political Parties will endeavour to provide equal opportunity to its qualified members both men and women to participate in electoral process.

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 till twenty four hours after the consolidation of official results.

The President‚ Prime Minister‚ Chairman‚ Deputy Chairman of Senate ‚ Speakers and Deputy Speakers‚ Federal Ministers‚ Ministers of State‚ Governors‚ Chief Ministers‚ Provincial Ministers and Advisors to the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers‚ and other public office holders would not participate in election campaign in any manner whatsoever. This provision will also be applicable to the Caretaker setup.

All Governments’ functionaries including local governments’ functionaries would not announce any development scheme or do anything which tends to influence the results of an election in favour of or against a particular candidate or political.

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