FAFEN Pre-Election Update 42: ECP Code Violations Continued through End of Campaign Period

ISLAMABAD, May 10, 2013: Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) observers recorded a total of 6,102 Code of Conduct violations between April 27 and May 3, 2013. Of these, 30 were speeches arousing controversy or making personal attacks on rival candidates, says Pre-Election Update 42 released on Friday.

FAFEN’s Constituency Long-Term Observers (CLTOs) reported one incident of action against women voters and five incidents against female candidates. Other observed violations include use of loudspeakers (512 instances), rallies causing inconvenience (227), illegal voter inducement (171), weapons display (130), and aerial firing/fireworks (40).

Over 70.8 % of the observed Code of Conduct violations were visual campaign materials exceeding allowable sizes, including banners, hoardings, leaflets and posters (4,324). Other violations noted were wall chalking/graffiti (662, or 10.8 %). These two categories constitute over three-fourths (4,986 or 81.6 %) of the observed violations.

Violations were committed by 28 political parties and independent candidates. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) committed over one-third of the violations (1,640, or 26.8%), followed by independent candidates (1,162 or 19.04%), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) (1,031, or 16.89%), Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) (909, or 14.89 %), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) (364, or 5.96%) and Pakistan Muslim League (340 or 5.57 %).

Most recorded violations were in Punjab (5,088 cases, or 83.4%), followed by Sindh (439 or 7.2%), KP (433 or 7.1%), Balochistan (72 cases), FATA (64) and ICT (6).

Pre-Election Update 42 is based on reports gathered from 213 constituencies – 124 in Punjab, 40 in Sindh, 29 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 12 in Balochistan,  seven in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and one in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

FAFEN observers recorded 30 violations of the ECP Code of Conduct related to speech tending to arouse controversy. A total of 27 such cases were reported in Punjab, and three in Sindh. PML-N candidates committed 10 violations, followed by PPPP (8), PTI (7), independent candidates (3), and PML and Balochistan National Party-Mengal (BNP-M) (one each).

PML-N candidates in NA-157 (Khanewal, Punjab) targeted their political opponents in two gatherings over their policies during the past regime and termed them incompetent.  Candidates/workers of PML-N in NA-160 (Sahiwal, Punjab), NA-67 and NA-68 (Sargodha, Punjab), NA-157 and NA-159 (Khanewal, Punjab), NA-150 (Multan, Punjab) and NA-93 (Toba Tek Singh, Punjab) also made inflammatory speeches against their political rivals.

PPPP candidates in NA-114 (Sialkot, Punjab), NA-149 and NA-150 (Multan, Punjab), NA-159 (Khanewal, Punjab), NA-183 (Bahawalpur, Punjab), NA-208 (Jacobabad, Sindh) criticized their political opponents and some used derogatory remarks against them.

A PTI candidate in NA-208 (Jacobabad, Sindh) reportedly termed his opponent a traitor and held him responsible for the present situation in the country. In various gatherings at NA-188 and NA-189 (Bahawalnagar, Punjab), PTI candidates accused their political rivals of failure to fulfill the people’s mandate. In NA-117 (Narowal, Punjab), a PTI candidate reportedly termed his political opponent corrupt as did another PTI candidate in NA-159 (Khanewal, Punjab).

An independent candidate at NA-188 (Bahawalnagar, Punjab) criticized his political opponent in a gathering, while an ethnic group was criticized by supporters of an independent candidate in another gathering in this constituency. In NA-109 (Mandi Bahauddin, Punjab), an independent candidate reportedly delivered an anti-democratic speech against his opponents.

A PML candidate in NA-191 (Bahawalnagar, Punjab) made an inflammatory speech against his political rivals, and the same was done by the workers of BNP-M during a rally in NA-138 (Lahore, Punjab).

To download the complete report, click here