CODE OF CONDUCT FOR POLITICAL PARTIES AND CONTESTING CANDIDATES FOR THE FORTHCOMING GENERAL ELECTIONS, 2002
ISSUED BY THE ELECTION COMMISSION.
21st August 2002
The Election Commission of Pakistan in its meeting held on today the 21st August, 2002 took the following decisions for the issuance of the Code of Conduct for Political Parties and contesting candidate for the forthcoming General Elections, 2002:
WHEREAS for the purpose of effective and meaningful consultation with the political parties, the Code of Conduct for 1997 General Elections was published in newspapers and was given extensive publicity through electronic and print media on 5th July, 2002 for eliciting their valuable suggestions by 5th August, 2002 as, to whether the provisions of aforementioned Code of Conduct may be retained in its present form or any of its provision may be modified or amended or some new provisions may be added to the Code of Conduct for General Elections, 2002.
AND WHEREAS pursuant to the aforesaid measures taken by the Election Commission, proposals have been received from political parties which have been given due consideration.
NOW THEREFORE, in pursuance of Article 218 (3) of Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, read with Articles 5(3) and 6 of the Election Commission Order, 2002 (Chief Executive's Order No.1 of 2002), and Article 18 of Political Parties Order, 2002 (Chief Executive's Order No.18 of 2002), and all other powers enabling in that behalf, the Election Commission is pleased to issue the following Code of Conduct for political parties and contesting candidates for the forthcoming General Elections, 2002:
(1) The political parties 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 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, as provided under Article 63 of the Constitution.
(2) Criticism of other political parties, when made, shall be confined to their policies and programme, past record and work. Parties and candidates shall refrain from criticism of all aspects of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders or workers of other parties. Criticism of other parties or their workers based on unverified allegations or on distortion shall be avoided.
(3) Concerned political parties and contesting candidates may announce their overall development programme. But following 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, nor shall commit to undertake any development project in the respective constituency.
(4) All parties and candidates, shall avoid scrupulously all activities which are "corrupt practices" and offences under the election law such as the bribing of voters, intimidation of voters, personation of voters, canvassing within 400 yards of a polling station, holding public meetings during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for the close of the poll.
(5) The right of every individual for peaceful and undisturbed home life shall be respected, however much the political parties or candidates may resent his political opinions or activities. Organizing demonstrations or picketing before the houses of individuals by way of protesting against their opinions or activities shall not be resorted to under any circumstances.
(6) No political party or candidate shall permit 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.
(7) Political parties and candidates shall ensure that their supporters do not create obstructions in or break up meetings and processions organized by the other parties. Workers or sympathizers of one political party shall not create disturbance at public meetings organized by another political party.
(8) Processions shall not be taken out by one party along places at which meetings are being held by another party. Posters issued by one party shall not be removed by workers of another party.
(9) The party or candidates shall inform the local administration of the venue and time of any proposed meeting well in time so as to enable the police to make necessary arrangements for controlling traffic and maintaining peace and order.
(10) A party or candidate shall ascertain in advance if there are any restrictive or prohibitory orders in force in the place proposed for the meeting. If such order exists, they shall be followed strictly. If any exception is required from such orders it shall be applied for and obtained well in time.
(11) Organisers of a meeting shall invariably seek the assistance of the police on duty for dealing with persons disturbing a meeting or otherwise attempting to create a disorder. Organisers themselves shall not take, action against such persons.
(12) A party or candidate organizing a procession shall decide before hand the time and place of the starting of the procession, the route to be followed and the time and place at which the procession will terminate. There shall ordinarily be no deviation from the programme. The organizers shall give advance intimation to the local police authorities of the progralT1mes so as to enable them to make necessary arrangements.