ECP likely to ban collection of ‘party funds’ from aspiring candidates

Islamabad Politics Report/Moazzam Raza Tabassam: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has proposed a ban on political parties for collecting funds from electoral candidates.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has planned to hold a consultative meeting of all political parties having representation in the parliament on Thursday to finalise the code of ethics for political parties, contesting candidates, election agents and polling agents for upcoming general election, 2018.

Earlier on Saturday evening, President Mamnoon Hussain approved a summary sent by the Election Commission of Pakistan for the general elections, to be held on July 25.

The elections for provincial assemblies and the Lower House of the Parliament will be held on the same day.

According to a draft code of conduct prepared by the ECP for the upcoming elections, “No political party shall receive any amount from any of its prospective candidate in the name of party fund for the issuance of party ticket to that candidate.”

As per normal practice, the major political parties collect a huge amount from the aspiring candidates seeking party tickets for a national or provincial assembly seat in the general elections in the name of ‘application fee’ irrespective of whether the application is accepted or rejected.

The political parties, candidates and election agents shall abide by all directions, instructions and regulations issued by the ECP from time to time relating to the smooth conduct of the elections, maintenance of public order and morality, and shall refrain from maligning the election commission in any form whatsoever, violation of which will entail contempt of court proceedings.

The political parties, contesting candidates, election agents and their supporters or other persons shall not encourage or enter into formal or informal agreement/arrangement/understanding debarring men, women and transgender persons from becoming a candidate for an election or exercising their right of vote in an election. The political parties shall emphasise and encourage women’s participation in the election process. Violation will be treated as a corrupt practice.

The political parties and candidates will not solicit the support or assistance of any person in the service of Pakistan or a province or semi-government institution or any public office to promote or hinder the election of a contesting candidate in any manner. Violation will be treated as an illegal practice.

Furthermore, the contesting candidates and election agents shall dissuade their workers and sympathisers from destroying any ballot paper or any official mark on the ballot paper. Violation will be treated as an illegal practice.

The political parties or candidates or election agents shall, to the extent possible, ensure that the participants of processions do not carry such articles which may be misused by undesirable elements, especially when a crowd becomes charged, the draft read.

The use of effigies purporting to represent leaders or members of other political parties, and burning such effigies in public, thereby arousing sentiments of the participants of the meeting or procession shall be avoided at all costs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *