KARACHI: Sindh Election Commissioner Yusuf Khattak has said that there is no ban on display of banners and posters if they are made according to the size allowed in the code of conduct.
Mr Khattak stated this when a delegation comprising representatives of some political parties called on him here on Thursday to inform him of their reservations against removal of posters and banners displayed by political parties to muster support for their candidates for national and provincial assembly seats.
After the meeting, briefing the media Mr Khattak said the delegation had expressed its reservation about the removal of banners and posters of political parties. He said that the code of conduct of the political parties for electioneering was prepared in consultation with the stakeholders. He said the banners and posters which were against the code of conduct were being removed by the deputy commissioners concerned.
Political parties express reservation about the removal of banners and posters
Mr Khattak said the code of conduct allowed display of banners and posters of a particular size for electioneering and as such the code of conduct would have to be implemented by the election commission.
However, he said he had assured the delegation that their request would be forwarded to the ECP in Islamabad.
Earlier, drawing the attention of the provincial election commissioner towards the issue, PPP leader Saeed Ghani said the operation of removing banners and posters was affecting election campaigns of all political parties in the field. He said the other day a meeting of all political parties in the run was held where Faisal Subzwari from the MQM-P agreed to the joint stand of the political parties that a representative delegation of all parties call on the election commissioner to draw his attention to the code of conduct which allowed display of banners and posters for electioneering.
Mr Ghani further said that the removal of posters affected election campaigns of all political parties.
He suggested to the ECP that a focal person and some fees be notified for issuing permission to the political party.
JI leader Hafiz Naeemur Rahman said that after a long period of political suffocation in the Quaid’s city the situation had changed for holding fair elections in Karachi but the ECP operation did not reflect a conducive atmosphere for free polls. He said it was the right of citizens that manifestos and message of the political parties be conveyed to them.
Khwaja Tariq Nazeer of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz said: “We don’t want to violate the code of conduct of the ECP, which is in accordance with the Constitution, which allows political parties to freely carry out their election campaigns.”
Published in Dawn, June 29th, 2018