Home Global Village Elections Code of Conduct 2018 could have seen better implementation

Elections Code of Conduct 2018 could have seen better implementation


News Analysis |

Various sections of the Election’s Act 2017 have been violated by various candidates, in their campaigns.

The candidates in line, competing for general and provincial assembly seats during the elections in Pakistan have not adhered clear-cut instructions, necessary for free and fair elections, from ECP.

Panaflex not Allowed; Violations via Posters

ECP had issued a code of conduct to set the size of portraits at 0.6×0.9 meters, banners at 0.9 by 2.7, posters 45 by 56 cm and handbills at 15 by 22 cm. In addition, a ban was levied on the use of panaflexs, posters, and wall-chalking.

This would later be reported to the DMO’s for action, he also explained. The continuous violation on the part of the candidates would lead to imposition of fine against them and may result in their disqualification as well.

Candidates had put up huge hoardings at several points of the city in different constituencies. Violations were witnessed firsthand as massive hoardings containing the candidates’ picture, election symbol and an appeal for a vote could be seen all over Islamabad, in every constituency.

Hanging the posters and banners was continued in various sectors of Islamabad i.e. Federal Capital. Some sources also indicated that secret corner meetings and rallies were being held without authorization.

Furthermore, there was an indication that the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had started an operation against the offenders. However, this operation was criticized for being biased. Fifty ft. Panaflex banner belonging to PPP, with the picture of candidate Afzal Khokar was removed on the directions of session Judge Islamabad.

Read more: Human rights Win for Pakistan: Convicted prisoners to Vote in 2018…

Campaign Agents Disguised as Police Personnel

Where Election Code of Conduct was witnessed in areas like Barma Town, Ali Pur Farash, Tarli, Bari Imam, Bhara Kahu, Capital 1 and G sectors, some important personalities took up a new way to attract voters.

ECP had issued a code of conduct to set the size of portraits at 0.6×0.9 meters, banners at 0.9 by 2.7, posters 45 by 56 cm and handbills at 15 by 22 cm. In addition, a ban was levied on the use of Panaflex banners, posters and wall-chalking.

Revealed by inner sources, some candidates were allegedly using Federal Capital police personnel for their election campaign in the NA-54 constituency.

SHO of the Aabpara Police Station was contacted and the entire scenario was laid down for him. Declining accusations, the SHO for Aabpara police station stated that the personnel over there were vigilant regarding the implementation of the election code of conduct.

Read more: Pakistan’s democracy test: An Indian view

Violations as Per Sections

As per Section 57 (2)(i) of the Elections Act 2017, the election should take place at least 28 days after the issuance of the revised list of candidates contesting the polls.

Where Election code of conduct was witnessed in areas like Barma Town, Ali Pur Farash, Tarli, Bari Imam, Bhara Kahu, Capital 1 and G sectors, some important personalities took up a new way to attract voters.

This section was violated when the commission had set 29th June, as the deadline for issuance of the final list, which according to the current schedule having 25th July as a polling day meant that the election would be held sooner than the required time i.e. a period of 26 days.

Moreover, another violation took place, that was of Section 59 (6), which stated that the commission must issue the schemes 30 days prior to the polling day. However, ECP had also missed this deadline of 25th June, to finalize the polling schemes for all the provinces.

Read more: How politicians use media to win elections?

Who can punish; how can they punish?

Under recent amendments, authority lied with the District Monitor Officers who had been empowered by the ECP to hold summary trials and penalize the candidates who were involved in openly disregarding this code of conduct.

Revealed by inner sources, some candidates were allegedly using Federal Capital police personnel for their election campaign in the NA-54 constituency.

To monitor electioneering and ensure implementation of the code of conduct in their districts, the Lahore Commissioner Dr. Muhammad Mujtaba Paracha, in conversation with local news agency said that, apart from monitoring the officers and representing government departments, each constituency had been notified to supervise and keep an eye out for any violations.

This would later be reported to the DMO’s for action, he also explained. The continuous violation on the part of the candidates would lead to the imposition of fine against them and may result in their disqualification as well.

Facebook Comments