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Election code of conduct ignored: Tehrik-i-Insaf hits campaign trail

Published Mar 11, 2013 12:12am


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Imran Khan addressing a crowd. — File Photo
Imran Khan addressing a crowd. — File Photo

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) launched its election campaign on Sunday with a violation of relevant law and election code of conduct by affixing hoardings much larger than the legally permitted size in different parts of the provincial capital.

While other major political parties have been flagrantly violating the code by displaying huge billboards on important roads, the PTI proved to be no different despite its slogan of “change”.

As the party chief Imran Khan had engagements in Peshawar for two consecutive days the PTI supporters, mainly aspirants for party ticket, affixed hoardings on major roads, from which he was scheduled to travel so as to catch his attention.

Mr Khan laid the foundation stone of Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital in Hayatabad Township on Saturday and his supporters had affixed big hoardings on the University Road, the route leading to the said venue. Most of the hoardings on that road are displayed by two leaders who hope to get the party ticket for provincial assembly constituency of PK-5.

Similarly, hoardings also sprung up on other roads, including the G.T. Road, which is near the venue of the Sunday’s public meeting.

Interestingly, the PTI’s violation of code of conduct came after the warning by provincial election commissioner Sono Khan Baloch on March 5 to the political parties, their supporters and aspirants of party ticket to remove the hoardings larger than the specified sizes within five days.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had also issued the code of conduct for political parties last month, directing them to fully abide by it.

Section 12 of the code of conduct prescribed sizes of hoardings, etc as follows – posters 2 feet x 3 feet; hoardings 3 feet x 5 feet; banners 3 feet x 9 feet; and leaflets/handbills 9 inches x 6 inches.

The section states said that the head of district administration/political agent and the district returning officer should be responsible for the effective implementation of this provision.

So far the administration has turned a blind eye to this violation of the code, as most of the political parties and their supporters have displayed hoardings of the size 10 feet x 20 feet.

In certain cases much larger boards of the 20 feet x 50 feet are being put on display. The PTI has also occupied the larger billboards and displayed hoardings over it carrying portrait of the party chief and its insignia.

Section 83-A (1) of the Representation of Peoples Act prohibits affixing hoardings, banners and posters larger than the prescribed size.

Furthermore, Section 83-A (5) declares it a penal offence punishable with up to one year imprisonment and fine.

Member of one of the political parties violating the law told Dawn that in certain cases the code was not realistic.

He stated that the size of hoarding prescribed by the ECP was only 3 feet x 5 feet, which was much smaller and would not be visible to passers-by.

He said that hoardings of such size would not serve the purpose.

Another political activist, who requested anonymity, alleged that the ECP had been overstepping its powers by applying the code even when the election schedule was not announced.

He said that the code should be applicable once the schedule for general election was announced.

The code of conduct was issued by the ECP in pursuance of Article 218(3) of the Constitution of Pakistan read with Article 6 of the Election Commission Order 2002 and Article 18 of the Political Parties Order, 2002.


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Comments (6) Closed

Syed Mumtazuddin Ahmed Mar 11, 2013 09:25am
PTI's election campaign will start on March 23rd with the Jalsa at Minar-e-Pakistan. Election campaign can only begin after the caretaker government has been installed and the election date set. And were you sleeping when other political parties were displaying huge signboards and doing pre-poll electioneering? Did it take the loud slogans at the Peshawar Jalsa to wake you up?
rashid Mar 11, 2013 08:44am
You are comparing "CHANGE" on board size!! Do not compare 1 OR 4 with 100!!!!!!!!!!
havi Mar 11, 2013 04:07am
PTI finally hit the road and hopefully get into its high gear to catch up the lost time. We trust Imran Khan
Shafiq-ur-Rehman Mar 11, 2013 03:43am
oh so now after yesterday as PTI has started it campaign the anti-PTI elements has also start the campaign and as far the writer has talked about the "change" PML-N has taken the same slogan and while they had the recent jalsa there were more mis-conduct then what they writer is saying here.The only problem is when PML-N and PPP or any other political parties does those things which affect the whole country and is contradictary to what they say these writers never get this engage and write a whole article about it . But when PTI does it they attack it as if PTI is in federal or provincial government.
Abdullah Hussain Sunni Mar 11, 2013 10:46am
PTI is the only hope to do something good for Pakistan & its suffering majority. This is a test of time for the masses to elect him & move forward with dignity of revert to the same corrupt governance.
Malikpur - Janderbari - Abbottabad Mar 12, 2013 10:13am
If you claim a revolutionary party, you should show respect to laws instead of comparing with other. if you compare yourself with other what is the difference? only on sitting in rooms infront of computer cannot bring change in a country of 200 million sheeps!