Election Commission sets standards for Senate hopefuls

ISLAMABAD, Mar 20 (Alliance News): The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued a code for Senate candidates, prohibiting actions that undermine Islam, Pakistan’s values, sovereignty, security, morality, public order, or the integrity of its institutions like Parliament, the judiciary, or the Armed Forces.

The code issued by the Election Commission cautioned candidates to adhere to all directives for smooth elections and avoid criticizing the Commission, as failure to do so could lead to contempt proceedings under the Elections Act 2017.

“The political parties, candidates, voters, and election agents must not engage in any activities that could undermine the glory of Islam, the ideology of Pakistan, or the sovereignty, integrity, or security of the country,” said the code.

Moreover, candidates are barred from participating in corrupt or illegal activities as outlined in the Elections Act 2017. They are also forbidden from soliciting support from individuals in public service to sway election results. Likewise, individuals in public service are prohibited from interfering in the election process or endorsing any candidate.

Polling station visitors, including the President, Governors, and other individuals, are required to follow specific regulations, such as refraining from using electronic devices. Candidates must establish a separate bank account for election-related expenses.

Those who win must submit their expense reports to the Returning Officer within five days of the election, while other candidates have thirty days from the publication of winners’ names to do so.