Election code of conduct finalised

ECP to go in review against the SC judgment as some of its poll-related directions are found unfeasible.

Qamar Zaman January 08, 2013
ECP to go in review against the SC judgment as some of its poll-related directions are found unfeasible. PHOTO: FILE


The election commission’s code of conduct – what is being referred to as a “sacred document” to ensure poll transparency – will be in hands of all political parties contesting the upcoming elections in a matter of days.

A parliamentary committee finalised its recommendations for the code of conduct on Monday.

“The committee has completed its recommendations on code of conduct and has decided to empower the ECP to hold free, fair and transparent elections,” said Leader of the House in the Senate and the head of the committee Senator Jahangir Badar.

The decision was taken after a marathon session of the committee on election reforms. The meeting was earlier scheduled to be held on December 31, but was rescheduled after the killing of Awami National Party leader Bashir Bilour.

The election commission had introduced a new code of conduct in September last year, which proposed a ban on the president and governors from taking part in the election campaign and disqualification of candidates who violated any aspect of the code.

Even though the committee decided to empower the election commission, political parties agreed to hold summary trial of polling staff involved in attempts to steal the mandate of a candidate.

Badar said “nobody would be allowed to win elections either by bullying and rigging or by using guns or money.” He added that punitive action has been recommended for polling officials to avoid any irregularities during elections.

“This is a message for Dr Tahirul Qadri as well,” said Badar, while inviting feedback from all stakeholders on the code of conduct.

Leader of the Opposition in Senate Mohammad Ishaq Dar of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz(PML-N) said all parties represented in the Senate were part of the consultative process.

Earlier, Director General Elections Sher Afgan said it had not implemented various directions of the Supreme Court, including the provision of transport and distribution of “parchis” to voters.

The estimated cost for the provision of transport would be around Rs12 billion, whereas it would take another Rs400-500 million to disburse “parchis,” Afgan said. The meeting also decided that ECP would go in review against the SC judgment as some directions were not feasible.

Meanwhile, ECP Secretary Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan informed the meeting that the commission would be holding a meeting with the secretary of postal services to explore the idea of disbursing “parchis” with utility bills.

However, Senator Sughra Imam of PPP was of the opinion that it would be impossible and inappropriate to send “parchis” to voters by post.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2013.


Islah M | 8 years ago | Reply

Having gone through the draft code, it appears certain that the code aims to lessen the burden of State law and order apparatus. The more the candidates follow the code the more peaceful these elections would be. The ECP and the special committee have done their job and it is left for the contesting candidates/political parties to adhere to the code

DevilHunterX | 8 years ago | Reply

But PPP & PML (N) have always won due to free, fair and transparent elections, according to them

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