ISLAMABAD: The election supervisory body on Monday barred news channels from broadcasting any unofficial poll results before the results are announced by the returning officers (ROs).
The restriction is part of the code of conduct drawn up by the Election Commission
of Pakistan (ECP) for the media but has rarely been adhered to.
This time the ECP has directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to monitor any such activity and penalise those media outlets that violate the rule.
“The ECP secretary has directed to enforce code of conduct for media where no channel can air unofficial results before the results announced by returning officers. Pemra will monitor and penalise such media channels for violation of code of conduct,” the media wing of the poll body said in a brief statement.
The directives came ahead of the upcoming local government (LG) polls in Punjab and Sindh. Polling for the first phase of the LG polls will be held on October 31.
The ECP has requested parliament to give legal cover to its code of conduct.
The election supervisory body’s code of conduct is still deemed as rules but in case of violation, the ECP does not have any direct powers of its own to punish violators.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2015.
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