The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has barred public office holders from visiting constituencies where by-elections are scheduled to take place at the end of this month.
The poll body had earlier issued a notification to hold by-elections in 42 constitutions of National and provincial assemblies on August 22 in order to elect parliamentarians on seats vacated by winners from more than one constituency in May 11 general elections.
“The direction [for prime minister and chief ministers] has been issued so that elections in National and provincial constituencies are not influenced,” a senior ECP official said.
The commission has issued a code of conduct for holding by-elections across the country, whose observance is mandatory for candidates and political parties who are participating in the polls, he added.
“After the issuance of schedule, the president, prime minister, chairman, deputy chairman senate, federal minister, ministers of state, governors, chief ministers, provincial ministers and advisors to the prime minister and the chief ministers and other public office holders will neither visit the area of any constituency nor shall openly or in secret give any subscription or donation or make promises for giving such subscription or donation to any institution of a constituency, nor shall inaugurate, commit to undertake or announce any development project therein for the advancement of the campaign of a candidate of his choice and thereby influence the results of election,” said a provision of the code of conduct for the by-elections.
Earlier, the commission had barred executive authorities in the federation and the provinces from using state resources and banned transfers and postings public servants till completion of the election process. The commission has warned that legal action will be taken against those public office holders in accordance with the law who do not obey the instructions issued by the commission. The poll body had issued these directions for the executive authorities during the general elections 2013.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th, 2013.