ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan has issued a sixteen-point code of conduct for international observers and media persons monitoring electoral process.
According to the code of conduct, the international observers shall adhere to the laws and constitution of Pakistan and respect the authority of the Election Commission and its officials.
The observers will follow instructions issued from time to time by the ECP and other authorities, including security officials and maintain a respectful attitude towards them.
The code asks the observers to maintain strict political impartiality during the elections. They shall 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.
They shall also not participate or conduct any activity that may generate an impression of favoring of opposing any political party or candidate.
The observers will have the right to ask any question and to clear any query but they will not obstruct directly or indirectly any election related activity.
The observers shall ensure that their observations are impartial, objective and depict the highest standards of accuracy.
According to the code of conduct, any individual observer shall not make any personal comments on the election process to the media. Observer organizations or groups should ensure that only their authorized persons give common about the election process.
The observer organizations may share their findings, methodology and recommendations with the Election Commission of Pakistan.
The international observers intending to visit Pakistan have been asked to submit their visa applications well in time as per the rules laid down by the relevant authorities. No observer shall stay in Pakistan beyond the duration of granted visa.
The ECP has also asked the observers to comply with advisories that may be issued by the government or security agencies to ensure their safety during their stay in the country.
In case of violation of code of conduct, the ECP reserves the right to withdraw observer accreditation of an individual observer or an observer mission. The authority to determine the violation also rests with the Election Commission of Pakistan.—NNI