Pakistan News

PML-N, PTI violating code of conduct in election campaigns

PML-N, PTI violating code of conduct in election campaigns

RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) on Sunday alleged that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was unwilling to implement its code of conduct, giving a free hand to the ruling PML-N and the PTI to bring out rallies in connection with the April 25 cantonment polls.

“Under the code of conduct issued by the ECP, the candidates cannot hold rallies and can only run door-to-door campaigns or arrange corner meetings. However, the PML-N and the PTI parliamentarians are leading the rallies and the ECP is not taking action against them,” Shujaat Haider Naqvi, the spokesman for the PPP City chapter, told Dawn.

“It is the duty of the ECP to take notice of the violation of its code of conduct. The government is using state machinery to win the elections,” he alleged.

JI’s local spokesman Malik Azam also demanded that the code of conduct should be implemented in the cantonment areas.

He told Dawn that the election campaign of the JI was limited to the door-to-door campaigns and corner meetings but the ruling party and other parties were bringing rallies and using loudspeakers.

He said all the candidates were asked to implement the code of conduct but the ruling party’s candidates were violating it.

The PTI on Sunday brought out a rally in support of its candidates in Chaklala Cantonment Board areas. The rally started from Chaklala Scheme-III and ended at Gowalmandi after passing through Gulistan Colony, Marrir Chowk and Saddar.

More than 30 vehicles were used in the rally. The participants were carrying PTI flags and posters of the candidates.

When contacted, PTI MPA Arif Abbasi said the ruling party brought out rallies in Nasirabad and Gharibabad on a daily basis. “If the PML-N holds rallies, the PTI also has the right to show its presence in the city.”

He said it was not a violation of the code of conduct as the rallies were not being held by the candidates but arranged by their parties. He said the candidates were holding corner meetings and door-to-door campaigns in their respective areas.

PML-N former MNA Malik Shakeel Awan said his party was not violating the code of conduct and running the election campaign of its candidates. He said loudspeakers were not being used in the corner meetings. He said the PML-N candidates were popular enough in their respective areas and they did not use government resources, adding the local residents were running their election campaigns.

When contacted, RCB Executive Officer Fahim Zafar Khan, who is also the returning officer for the Rawalpindi Cantonment Board, admitted that under the code of conduct only corner meetings were allowed.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2015

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