Election Laws

ECP announced complete code of conducts

NOW THEREFORE, in pursuance of Article 218(3) of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan read with Article 6 of the Election Commission Order 2002 (Chief Executive’s Order  No.1 of 2002), Article 18 of the Political Parties Order, 2002 (Chief Executive’s Order  No.18 of 2002), the directions of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in Workers’ Party Pakistan’s case (C.P.No.87/ 2011) and all other powers enabling it in that behalf, the Election Commission is pleased to issue the following Code of Conduct for political parties and candidates for the forthcoming General Elections 2013 and all subsequent bye-elections:

General Conduct:

(1)          The political parties and candidates shall not propagate any opinion, or act in any manner prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan, or the sovereignty, integrity or security of Pakistan, or the integrity or independence of the judiciary of Pakistan, or which defames or brings into ridicule the judiciary or the Armed Forces of Pakistan, as provided under Article 63 of the Constitution.

(2)          The parties and candidates shall abide by all the laws, rules, regulations and directions issued by the Commission, from time to time, relating to smooth conduct of elections and the maintenance of public order

(3)          The political parties and candidates shall at all times uphold the rights and freedom of the people of Pakistan as guaranteed by the Constitution and law.

(4)          All contesting candidates and their supporters shall avoid scrupulously all activities which areoffences under the election laws, such as bribing of voters, intimidation and personation, canvassing within 400 yards of a polling station including setting up of camps, and holding public meetings during the period of 48 hours ending at midnight following the conclusion of the poll for an election in the constituency, etc.

(5)          Canvassing for votes, soliciting of votes, persuading any elector not to vote at the election or for a particular candidate is prohibited within a radius of 400 yards of the polling station.

(6)          Exhibiting, except with the permission of the Returning Officer and at a place reserved for the candidate or his election agent beyond the radius of 100 yards of the polling station,any notice, sign, banner or flag designed to encourage the electors to vote or discourage the electors from voting for any contesting candidate, is prohibited.

(7)          Incitement to violence or resort to violence during meetings, processions, or during polling hours shall be strictly avoided by contesting candidates and their supporters. They shall publicly condemn violence and intimidation and not use language that might lead to violence or resort to violence during meetings, processions, or during polling hours. No person shall in any manner cause injury to any person or damage to any property.

(8)          Contesting candidates and their supporters shall not procure the support or assistance of any person in the service of Pakistan to promote or hinder the election of a contesting candidate.

(9)          Contesting candidates shall dissuade their workers or sympathizers from destroying any ballot paper or any official mark on the ballot paper.

(10)        No person or political party or a contesting candidate and their supporters shall hoist or fix party flags on any public property or at any public place, except with the permission in writing from local government or authorities and on payment of such fee or charges as may be chargeable. .

(11)        Wall chalking as part of an election campaign shall be prohibited in all forms. Similarly use of loudspeaker shall not be allowed for election campaign except at the election meetings.

(12)        No person or a political party shall affix posters, hoardings or banners larger than the sizes prescribed by the Election Commission as under:

(a)       Posters                   2-feet x 3-feet

(b)       Hoardings               3-feet x 5-feet

(c)       Banners                  3-feet x 9-feet

(d)       Leaflets/Handbills    9-inches x 6 inches

 

The Head of district administration / Political Agent and the District Returning Officer shall be responsible for the effective implementation of this provision.

(13)        The political parties, contesting candidates and their supporters shall not indulge in offering gifts or gratifications or inducements to any person to stand or not to stand as a candidate, or to withdraw or not to withdraw his candidature.

(14)        Political parties, contesting candidates and their supporters may announce their overall development programme, but after the announcement of the election schedule till the day of polling, no candidate or any person on his behalf shall, openly or in secret, give any subscription or donation, or make promise for giving such subscription or donation, to any institution of their respective constituency or to any other institution.

(15)        Contesting candidates and their supporters shall refrain from speeches calculated to arouse parochial and sectarian feelings and controversy of conflicts between genders, sects, communities and linguistic groups.

(16)        The political parties, contesting candidates and their supporters shall refrain from deliberate dissemination of false and malicious information and shall not indulge in forgeries and disinformation to defame other political parties / leaders. The use of abusive language against the leaders and candidates shall be avoided at all costs.

(17)        Criticism of other political parties and opponent candidates shall be confined to their policies andprogrammes, past record and work. Parties and candidates shall refrain from criticism of any aspect of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties. Criticism based on unverified allegations and distortion of facts shall be avoided.

(18)        Political parties, contesting candidates and their supporters shall not use any vehicle to transport to or from the polling station any elector except himself and members of his immediate family.

(19)        Political parties contesting candidates and their supporters shall not propagate against the participation of any person in the elections on the basis of gender, ethnicity, religion or caste.

(20)        The political parties, contesting candidates and their supporters or other persons shall not encourage or enter into formal or informal agreement / arrangement / understanding debarring WOMEN from becoming candidate for an election or exercising their right of vote in an election. The Political Parties shall encourage the women to participate in election process.

(21)        No transaction towards the election expenses shall be made through an account other than the account opened for the purpose.

(22)        All transactions relating to the election expenses shall be entered into with GST registered firms / persons, wherever it is possible.

(23)        The political parties, contesting candidates and their supporters shall extend all necessary help to law enforcement agencies for purposes of ensuring the safety and security of election materials, election officials and polling agents on polling day.

(24)        The Political Parties shall endeavor to provide equal opportunity to its qualified members both men and women to participate in electoral process.

(25)        Issuing of advertisements at the cost of public exchequer in the newspapers and other media and misuse of official mass media during the election period for partisan coverage of political news and publicity by the Federal, Provincial and Local governments shall be prohibited.

(26)        The right of every individual for peaceful and undisturbed domestic life shall be respected, irrespective of any resentment that a political party or a candidate may have against such individual for his political opinion or activities. Organizing demonstrations or picketing before the house of such individual with a view to protest against his political opinion or activities shall be prohibited under all circumstances.

(27)        No political party or candidate shall permit its / his followers to make use of any individual’s land, building, compound wall etc. without his permission for erecting flag-staffs, suspending banners, pasting notices, writing slogans etc.

(28)        The Political Parties and candidates shall firmly restrain their workers from exerting undue pressure against the print and electronic media, including newspaper offices and printing presses, or resorting to violence of any kind against the media.

(29)        There will be a complete ban on carriage and display of all kinds of weapons and fire arms in public meetings and processions as well as on the polling day and till twenty four hours after the consolidation of official results by the Returning Officer and official regulations in respect thereof shall be strictly observed. Aerial firing, use of crackers and other explosives at public meetings and at or near the polling stations by any person shall not be allowed.

(30)        The President, Prime Minister, Chairman / Deputy Chairman Senate, Speaker / Deputy Speaker of an Assembly, , Federal Ministers, Ministers of State, Governors, Chief Ministers, Provincial Ministers and Advisors to the Prime Minister and the Chief Ministers, and other public office holders shall not participate in election campaign in any manner whatsoever. This provision will also be applicable to the Caretaker setup.

(31)        All Governments’ functionaries / representatives, including local governments’ functionaries / representatives shall not announce any development scheme or do anything which tends to influence the results of an election in favor of or against a particular candidate or political party.

(32)        The political parties shall endeavour to take necessary steps to instill discipline within the party, its candidates, employees and supporters and guide them to follow this Code, comply with laws and regulations, commit no election irregularities and adhere to election regulations.

(33)        Posters, hoardings and banners affixed by one party shall neither be removed nor distribution of handbills and leaflets be prevented by workers of another party.

2.         Meetings / Processions / Rallies:

(34)        The Political Parties and candidates shall hold public rallies and processions only at the place or places through the routes specified for the purpose. Such places and routes shall be pre-determined in every city and town by district / local administration in consultation with respective candidates or their authorized representatives and be notified for public information.

(35)        The political parties and candidates shall convey their schedule of public rallies / processions / public jalsas at least three days in advance. District / Local Administration shall be responsible for making appropriate security arrangements and regulating such public rallies / processions / public jalsas in such a manner that equal opportunities are provided to those interested in holding public rallies / processions / public jalsas.

(36)        The District Administration shall ensure that no public rallies / processions shall be taken out by one party along places at which meetings are being held by another party.

(37)        The political parties and candidates may hold corner meetings.

(38)        Car rallies are not allowed to travel long distances except if the political parties, candidates or their supporters have pre-arranged corner meetings at specific designated places.

(39)        The organizers in consultation with the District administration shall take steps in advance to arrange for passage of the procession so that there is no blockage of or hindrance to traffic. If the procession is very long, it shall be organized in segments of suitable lengths, so that at convenient intervals, especially at points where the procession has to pass road junctions, the passage of held up traffic could be allowed by stages thus avoiding heavy traffic congestion and inconvenience of the general public.

3.         Polling Day:

(40)        The Political Parties and candidates shall:

(a)        Co-operate with the officers on election duty to ensure peaceful and orderly polling and complete freedom to the voters to exercise their franchise without being subjected to any annoyance or obstructions; and

(b)       Supply to their authorized polling agents badges or identity cards; and

(c)       Such authorized agents shall also carry their original NICs.

(41)        No candidate or any of his supporters or a polling agent shall interfere or create hindrance in any manner in official functioning of a presiding officer, assistant presiding officer, polling officer or security personnel appointed to perform duty at a polling station

(42)        No candidate or any of his supporters or a polling agent shall resort to violence in any form or manner against a presiding officer, assistant presiding officer, polling officer or security officials or any other person officially deputed to work at a polling station.

(43)        The Political Parties should carry out a comprehensive plan for voters’ education regarding marking the ballot paper, casting of vote and while doing so voters shall be informed that the secrecy of ballot shall be maintained.

(44)        In no case the political parties, candidates or their supporters shall establish camps near the polling station on the polling day. However, the Election Commission will provide the SMS facility to the voters through which each voter can get the information regarding his serial number at the voters’ list and name and location of the polling station.

(45)        Except the voters, candidates or duly authorized election agents, no one without a valid pass from the Election Commission or Provincial Election Commissioner, District Returning Officer or Returning officer concerned shall enter the polling station or a booth. Foreign / domestic observers and representatives of accredited bodies will also be provided access to witness the election process on production of the identification cards / passes issued to them by the aforesaid Election Commission authorities.

(46)        The District Returning Officer and Returning Officer shall be responsible to ensure implementation of the Code of Conduct, in their capacity as Magistrate First Class, through District / Local administration, district police or other law enforcing agencies, in the area of their jurisdictions, and violation thereof by any candidate or political party shall tantamount to malpractices as per law and rules and shall entail legal action as per law and rules including disqualification of the candidate.

Article 62 & 63 of constitution of Pakistan

 

Article 62 of constitution of Pakistan

 

Qualifications for membership of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament):

(1) A person shall not be qualified to be elected or chosen as a member ofMajlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) unless-

(a) he is a citizen of Pakistan;
(b) he is, in the case of the National Assembly, not less than twenty -five years of age and is enrolled as a voter in any electoral roll in-

(i) any part of Pakistan, for election to a general seat or a seat reserved for non-Muslims; and
(ii) any area in a Province from which she seeks membership for election to a seat reserved for women.
(c) he is, in the case of Senate, not less than thirty years of age and is enrolled as a voter in any area in a Province or, as the case may be, the Federal Capital or the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, from where he seeks membership;
(d) he is of good character and is not commonly known as one who violates Islamic Injunctions;
(e) he has adequate knowledge of Islamic teachings and practisesobligatory duties prescribed by Islam as well as abstains from major sins ;
(f) he is sagacious, righteous and non-profligate, honest and ameen, there being no declaration to the contrary by a court of law;
(g) he has not, after the establishment of Pakistan, worked against the integrity of the country or opposed the ideology of Pakistan.
 
(2) The disqualifications specified in paragraphs (d) and (e) shall not apply to a person who is a non-Muslim, but such a person shall have good moral reputation.]

 

Article 63 of constitution of Pakistan

 

Disqualifications for membership of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament):

(1) A person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora(Parliament), if:-

(a) he is of unsound mind and has been so declared by a competent court; or
(b) he is an undischarged insolvent; or
(c) he ceases to be a citizen of Pakistan, or acquires the citizenship of a foreign State; or
(d) he holds an office of profit in the service of Pakistan other than an office declared by law not to disqualify its holder; or
(e) he is in the service of any statutory body or any body which is owned or controlled by the Government or in which the Government has a controlling share or interest; or
(f) being a citizen of Pakistan by virtue of section 14B of the Pakistan Citizenship Act, 1951 (II of 1951), he is for the time being disqualified under any law in force in Azad Jammu and Kashmir from being elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly of Azad Jammu and Kashmir; or
(g) he has been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for propagating any opinion, or acting in any manner, prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan, or the sovereignty, integrity or security of Pakistan, or morality, or the maintenance of public order, or the integrity or independence of the judiciary of Pakistan, or which defames or brings into ridicule the judiciary or the Armed Forces of Pakistan, unless a period of five years has elapsed since his release; or
(h) he has been, on conviction for any offence involving moral turpitude, senteced to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years, unless a period of five years has elapsed since his release; or
(i) he has been dismissed from the service of Pakistan or service of a corporation or office set up or, controlled, by the Federal Government, Provincial Government or a Local Government on the grounds of misconduct, unless a period of five years has elapsed since his dismissal; or
(j) he has been removed or compulsorily retired from the service of Pakistan or service of a corporation or office set up or controlled by the Federal Government, Provincial Government or a Local Government on the ground of misconduct, unless a period of three years has elapsed since his removal or compulsory retirement; or
(k) he has been in the service of Pakistan or of any statutory body or any body which is owned or controlled by the Government or in which the Government has a controlling share or interest, unless a period of two years has elapsed since he ceased to be in such service; or
(l) he, whether by himself or by any person or body of persons in trust for him or for his benefit or on his account or as a member of a Hindu undivided family, has any share or interest in a contract, not being a contract between a cooperative society and Government, for the supply of goods to, or for the execution of any contract or for the performance of any service undertaken by, Government:

Provided that the disqualification under this paragraph shall not apply to a person-

(i) where the share or interest in the contract devolves on him by inheritance or succession or as a legatee, executor or administrator, until the expiration of six months after it has so devolved on him;
(ii) where the contract has been entered into by or on behalf of a public company as defined in the Companies Ordinance, 1984 (XLVII of 1984), of which he is a share-holder but is not a director holding an office of profit under the company; or
(iii) where he is a member of a Hindu undivided family and the contract has been entered into by any other member of that family in the course of carrying on a separate business in which he has no share or interest; or

Explanation.- In this Article “goods” does not include agricultural produce or commodity grown or produced by him or such goods as he is, under any directive of Government or any law for the time being in force, under a duty or obligation to supply.

(m) he holds any office of profit in the service of Pakistan other than the following offices, namely :-

(i) an office which is not whole time office remunerated either by salary or by fee;
(ii) the office of Lumbardar, whether called by this or any other title;
(iii) the Qaumi Razakars;
(iv) any office the holder whereof, by virtue of such office, is liable to be called up for military training or military service under any law providing for the constitution or raising of a Force; or
(n) he has obtained a loan for an amount of two million rupees or more, from any bank, financial institution, cooperative society or cooperative body in his own name or in the name of his spouse or any of his dependents, which remains unpaid for more than one year from the due date, or has got such loan written off; or
(o) he or his spouse or any of his dependents has defaulted in payment of government dues and utility expenses, including telephone, electricity, gas and water charges in excess of ten thousand rupees, for over six months, at the time of filing his nomination papers; or
(p) he is for the time being disqualified from being elected or chosen as a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora(Parliament) or of a Provincial Assembly under any law for the time being in force.

For the purposes of this paragraph “law” shall not include an Ordinance promulgated under Article 89 or Article 128.

 
(2) If any question arises whether a member of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) has become disqualified from being a member, the Speaker or, as the case may be, the Chairman shall, unless he decides that no such question has arisen, refer the question to the Election Commission within thirty days and should he fail to do so within the aforesaid period it shall be deemed to have been referred to the Election Comission.
 
(3) The Election Commission shall decide the question within ninety days from its receipt or deemed to have been received and if it is of the opinion that the member has become disqualified, he shall cease to be a member and his seat shall become vacant.

 

 
63A. Disqualification on grounds of defection.

 

(1) If a member of a Parliamentary Party composed of a single political party in a House-

(a) resigns from membership of his political party or joins another Parliamentary Party; or
(b) votes or abstains from voting in the House contrary to any direction issued by the Parliamentary Party to which he belongs, in relations to-

(i) election of the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister; or
(ii) a vote of confidence or a vote of no-confidence; or
(iii) a Money Bill;

he may be declared in writing by the Head of the Parliamentary Party to have defected from the political party, and the Head of the Parliamentary Party may forward a copy of the declaration to the Presiding Officer, and shall similarly forward a copy thereof to the member concerned:

Providedthat before making the declaration, the Head of the Parliamentary Party shall provide such member with an opportunity to show cause as to why such declaration may not be made against him.

(2) A member of a House shall be deemed to be a member of a Parliamentary Party if he having been elected as a candidate or nominee of a political party which constitutes the Parliamentary Party in the House or, having been elected otherwise than as a candidate or nominee of a political party, has become a member of such Parliamentary Party after such election by means of a declaration in writing.
(3) Upon receipt of the declaration under clause (1), the Presiding Officer of the House shall within two days refer the declaration to the Chief Election Commissioner who shall lay the declaration before the Election Commission for its decision thereon confirming the declaration or otherwise within thirty days of its receipt by the Chief Election Commissioner.
(4) Where the Election Commission confirms the declaration, the member referred to in clause (1) shall cease to be a member of the House and his seat shall become vacant.
(5) Any party aggrieved by the decision of the Election Commission may within thirty days, prefer an appeal to the Supreme Court which shall decide the matter within three months from the date of the filing of the appeal.
(6) Nothing contained in this Article shall apply to the Chairman or Speaker of a House.
(7) For the purpose of this Article-

(a) “House” means the National Assembly or the Senate in relation to the Federation and a Provincial Assembly in relation to the Province, as the case may be.
(b) “Presiding Officer” means the Speaker of the National Assembly, the Chairman of the Senate or the Speaker of the Provincial Assembly, as the case may be.

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