PESHAWAR/GHALANAI, March 11: Provincial Election Commissioner Sono Khan Baloch directed the authorities on Monday to remove all hoardings and banners, larger than the legally permitted size, affixed by different political parties in the province and tribal areas as it was a violation of the election code of conduct.
He had directed on Tuesday last all the political parties, their supporters and aspirants of getting respective party tickets to strictly follow the election code of conduct and remove the illegal hoardings and banners till March 11.
Mr Baloch noted that such illegal hoardings and banners were still displayed at several places. He also directed the administration to erase political graffiti as it was not permissible under the election code of conduct.
The provincial election commissioner had sent letters to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary, provincial home secretary, Fata additional chief secretary, provincial police officer, commissioners, deputy commissioners, political agents of tribal agencies and district police officers directing them if the illegal hoardings and banners were not removed in the prescribed period then they should issue directives to the officials concerned for their removal.
The commissioner has again asked these officials to look into the matter and also submit their respective progress report after taking action in this regard.
The Election Commission of Pakistan had, on Jan 28, issued a code of conduct for the political parties directing them to fully abide by it.
Section 12 of the said code of conduct provides size for the hoardings and posters, etc. The prescribed size of a poster, according to the said section, is 2feet x 3feet, hoarding 3feet x 5feet and a banner 3feet x 9feet while the size of leaflet and handbill is 9inches x 6inches.
The said section states that the head of district administration/political agent and district returning officer should be responsible for the effective implementation of this provision.
Moreover, section 83-A of the Representation of Peoples Act prohibits affixing hoardings, banners and posters larger than the prescribed size.
Presently, in the provincial capital and other districts of the province as well as in towns in tribal agencies huge billboards have been displayed mostly by the supporters of different political parties as well as independent candidates.
The commissioner has also asked the media outlets and advertisement agencies to follow the code of conduct and not to allow their respective organisations to be used by the political parties in violation of the said code.In Mohmand Agency, Assistant Election Commissioner Haroon Shinwari has directed all political parties and would-be candidates in the upcoming general elections to remove their illegal billboards and wall-chalking by the next week.Talking to journalists after a meeting on Monday, he said that all the candidates and political parties should erase the political graffiti and remove illegal billboards and hoardings displayed at public as well as government places.
The meeting was also attended by Assistant Political Agent Jamshed Khan and representatives of political parties including Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, Pakistan People’s Party, Jamaat-i-Islami, Qaumi Watan Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Awami National Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Quiad as well as independent candidates.
Mr Shinwari said that political parties should inform the Election Commission of Pakistan three to seven days ago about holding public gatherings.