ECP issues Code of Conduct for media in LG elections

436

ISLAMABAD, Oct 27 (APP): The Election Commission of Pakistan on
Tuesday issued Code of Conduct for media during local government elections in Punjab and Sindh, urging objectivity, credibility and authenticity of news.
The Code of Conduct has been issued by the Commission in exercise of its powers under Article 218 (3) and Article 219 of the Constitution read with Rule 78 and Rule 3 of Pubnjab Local Governments, 2013 and Sindh Local Councils (Election), 2015 respectively.
The Code of Conduct shall be obligatory for all media representatives covering the Local Government Elections in Punjab and Sindh to follow in letter and spirit.
According to Code of Conduct no Radio or Television Channel shall broadcast or telecast or print media shall publish anything that adversely affects the public opinion against a particular political party or a candidate.
The print and electronic media shall refrain from disseminating any information about a political party or a candidate which is not supported by cogent evidence about any election related activity. Due care shall also be exercised by them to ascertain veracity of any information or news relating to a political party or a candidate before its telecast, broadcast or publishing.
The print and electronic media shall broadcast, telecast or publish only authentic election results officially issued by the Presiding Officer, Returning Officer or the Election Commission and any remarks about personal life of any candidate shall be avoided.
All political parties and candidates shall be provided balanced coverage time on National Radio and TV channels during their election campaign.
Under the Code of Conduct PEMRA will monitor the coverage given to political parties and candidates for their election campaigns through public/private Radio/TV channels and for that purpose will obtain the transmission certificates, details of payments made by the political parties and candidates and copies thereof shall be forwarded to the Election Commission.
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) shall also ensure the compliance of this Code by each and every Radio and TV channel.
Furthermore, representatives of print and electronic media must obtain Accreditation Card from the Election Commission or its authorized officer for observation of polling process and if a serious violation is found to have been committed, the concerned representative may have his or her accreditation withdrawn. The authority to determine whether any violation has occurred or not, will rest with the Election Commission of Pakistan, stated the Commission in Code of Conduct.
Representatives of print and electronic media must not obstruct any element of the election process and must display their identification provided by the Election Commission whenever required by the Presiding or Returning Officer.
It states that if a candidate makes an allegation against another candidate, the media as far as possible should seek comment from both sides before publishing or broadcasting or telecasting such allegation.
The Code of Conduct also bars wild allegations and statements which may harm national solidarity or may create law and order situation and urges media not to use language in reporting events which may incite violence on any grounds, including race, sex, language, religion.