ISLAMABAD – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued a coded of conduct for security personnel, polling staff and international observers to ensure timely, impartial and secure general polls.
The code of conduct for security personnel stated that all personnel belonging to law enforcing agencies shall work in close collaboration with concerned district returning officers, returning officers and other election officials. The security personnel are bound by law to remain neutral, shall not act in favor of or against any political party or candidate; implement the lawful orders of the presiding officers.
The security personnel deputed at the polling station shall stay outside the polling station premises or at a place alooted by concerned Presiding Officer(s) and shall not enter the polling station premises unless they are explicitly directed to do so by the concerned Presiding Officer.
They shall assist the Presiding Officer in maintaining or restoring law and order at the polling station(s) as and when asked to do so.
The security personnel shall facilitate the voters and ensure that they are properly queued. They are liable to render all possible assistance to physically disabled, old and sick voters including pregnant women.
The security personnel deployed at the polling stations shall ensure that peaceful and conducive environment is provided to voters outside the polling stations and voters are neither intimidated nor hampered from voting.
The Code of Conduct for polling staff states that “Presiding Officer (PO) shall not follow any instructions except those given by the District Returning Officer and / or Returning Officer (RO); Polling personnel shall especially focus on punctuality, accuracy and proper communication with superiors”.
All polling personnel shall perform their duties in a neutral manner and treat all the voters, representatives of political parties and candidates, media and observers without any bias. They shall not involve themselves in any political activity nor shall they express any political preference during performance of their duties at the polling stations.
Polling personnel shall not wear any symbol of any political party or candidate.
The Presiding Officers shall endeavor to resolve any problem at the polling station in order to ensure an uninterrupted voting.
Polling Personnel shall accommodate illiterate and disabled voters and facilitate their voting, while protecting their right to secrecy.
The Code of Conduct for Observers for the General Elections, 2013 makes it obligatory for them to respect the sovereignty of Pakistan as well as the fundamental rights and freedom of its people. They are bound to adhere to the laws of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and respect the authority of the Election Commission and its election officials. They shall maintain a respectful attitude towards election and security authorities; ensure strict political impartiality and not exhibit any bias or preference with regard to national authorities, political parties and candidates as well as any issue related to the process of elections.
The Observers shall ensure that all their observations are impartial, objective and depict the highest standards of accuracy.
Observer Organizations may share their findings, methodology and recommendations with the Election Commission of Pakistan.
In case of violation of this Code of Conduct, the Election Commission of Pakistan reserves the right to withdraw observer accreditation of an individual Observer or any Observer Mission.