Pakistan News

Violation of election code of conduct rife

Violation of election code of conduct rife

KARAK: The political and social activists have complained many candidates for the May 30 local body elections are violating the election code of conduct in the district.

They demanded the district returning officer to step in and crack down on the violators of code of conduct to ensure the holding of free and fair elections.

The political and social activists said most candidates for the district and tehsil councilor seats were spending much higher than the permissible Rs5 million expenditure limit during their election campaigns.

They said candidates were also involved in other sections of the election code of conduct, including display of arms and installation of huge banners.

Meanwhile, returning officer Kamran Amjad informed candidates about code of conduct here and urged them not to install election banners bigger than nine feet.

He said nobody would be allowed to exhibit weapons during political rallies and public meetings.

The returning officer said the candidates for district councilor election could spent up to Rs0.2 million, those for tehsil councilor Rs0.1 million and those for village councilor up to Rs50,000 during election campaign, while the size of the posters shouldn’t exceed 3/2 feet.

He asked candidates not to close roads and squares for public meetings and said candidates couldn’t join protests held for the resolution of public problems.

Amjad said neither candidates could stop women from casting vote nor could they announce start of development schemes and installation of water pumps in public meetings.

He said participation of elected representatives and government employees would be banned in corner meetings and public meetings organised by candidates.

The returning officer said candidates were not allowed to resort to mudslinging against each other. He, however, said criticism of policies and programmes of candidates would be allowed. Amjad said only district councils and tehsil council candidates could appoint polling agents.

He said violators of the code of conduct would be dealt with strictly according to the Election Commission of Pakistan rules.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2015

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