ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan [ECP] has scheduled a second round of consultation on October 4 with all political parties over the code of conduct for general elections.
The ECP, around a month ago, had already held a consultative meeting with the political parties over matters related to the upcoming general elections. The election body has also shared an 88 points draft to discuss with the political parties ahead of the meeting. This could be the last consultative session with the political parties over upcoming elections.
According to the draft of the code of conduct the political parties, contesting candidates and election agents shall at all times uphold the rights and freedom of the people of Pakistan as guaranteed by the Constitution and law.
The political parties, according to the draft, advised not to propagate any opinion or act in any manner prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan, or the sovereignty, integrity or security of Pakistan, or the integrity or independence of the judiciary of Pakistan, or which defames or brings into ridicule any Government institution including the judiciary and the Armed Forces of Pakistan.
The draft further binds the public office holders including president, prime minister, chairman/deputy chairman Senate, speaker/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, their deputies, that they will not participate in election campaign in any manner.
“The members of Senate and local government are allowed to participate in the election campaign and they will strictly abide by the code of conduct, directions, instructions and regulations issued by the Election Commission of Pakistan and violations thereof shall entail legal consequences including contempt proceedings as contemplated in Section 10 of the Elections Act, 2017,” It says, “The political parties, contesting candidates, election agents and their supporters shall not indulge in 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”.
According to the draft, “the political parties shall provide equal opportunity to its qualified members both men and women to participate in electoral processes and, While making the selection of candidates on general seats in an assembly, the party shall ensure at least five percent representation of women candidates as required under Section 206 of the Act,” It says, “Incitement to violence or resort to violence during pre-poll campaign or during 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”