ECP prohibits personal attacks on opponents

Zardari’s spokesperson asked ECP to take action against people attacking the president.

Web Desk April 26, 2013
With election campaign in full swing and parties holding rallies, candidates were seen criticising each other. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has prohibited political parties and their candidates from launching personal attacks against their opponents, Express News reported Friday.

With election campaign in full swing and parties holding rallies, candidates were seen criticising each other and often resorting to name-calling and rhetoric that could be construed as slander.

Earlier, President Asif Ali Zardari’s spokesperson Farhat Ullah Babar had written a letter to ECP stating that parties, specifically Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), had been making personal attacks on the president and requested the commission to take action against them.

Although the letter was not mentioned, in this context, the ECP issued a directive forbidding parties and candidates from personal attacks and warned that action will be taken against anyone who violates this rule.

“Parties and candidates shall refrain from criticism of any aspect of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties. Criticism based on unverified allegations and distortion of facts shall be avoided” ECP spokesman quoted from a paragraph from code of conduct for political parties.

Under the code of conduct issued by the ECP the candidates might criticize other political parties and opponent candidates on the basis of their policies and programmes, past record and work.

“The political parties, contesting candidates and their supporters shall refrain from deliberate dissemination of false and malicious information and shall not indulge in forgeries and disinformation to defame other political parties/leaders. The use of abusive language against the leaders and candidates shall be avoided at all costs” the media office said.


Saqib Shah | 8 years ago | Reply

Personal-attacking is a part of democracy! ECP wants to turn the campaign dry and boring. Even in the US, it's a part and parcel of every campaign - ever since the first elections took place more than 2 hundred years ago. Freedom of Speech covers EVERYTHING.....whether it's your opponent, the judiciary, the executive, the armed forces, or even your founding fathers.

Raza | 8 years ago | Reply

"This will be bad for Imran". Oh please, like PLMn aren't just as filthy with their own vilification campaigns. Which part of Imran's life have they not raised objection to? His marriage, his children living abroad, his past and even his charitable organization which is probably the most transparent and efficient medical institute in Pakistan...all this just to gain political ground lost through their incompetent governance and corruption. What has Imran even said? That the 1200+ security personal appointed for the Sharif family's protection is the HEIGHT of monarchy? That the whole raiwand palace runs on stolen tax money? That Sharifs are bank defaulters? These are not personal attacks. Challenging Nawaz Sharif to a live debate is NOT a personal attack. Calling him a coward certainly is but come on, sometimes a man just can't help himself. Vote for PTI, vote for CHANGE.

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