The Election Commission of Pakistan Friday issued the Code of Conduct for local and foreign Observers security personnel and polling staff for the general elections.


Every person, who participates in election observation individually or as a member of local group‚ organization or international election observation mission must sign a pledge to abide by the code, the Commission said.


Observers will respect the sovereignty of Pakistan and the fundamental rights and freedom of its people, according to a Notification.


The EC said Observers will maintain a strict political impartiality and will not exhibit any bias with regard to national authorities‚ political parties and candidates.


It added they will also ensure that all their observations are impartial‚ objective and depict the highest standards of accuracy.


Election Commission said in case of violation of code of conduct‚ it reserves the right to withdraw observer accreditation of an individual observer or an observer mission.


The ECP states that all international observers are to adhere to the laws of Pakistan and respect all ECP authorities, state authorities, security officials and maintain a “respectful attitude towards them”.


The observers will have the right to ask questions, but cannot interfere in polling process. Impartiality is required and observers have been asked to refrain from activity that may project approval of one political party over another. Personal comments to the media have also been discouraged.


For staff, the Code of Conduct said, “To ensure neutrality, polling personnel are not permitted to wear the symbol of any political party or candidate. Polling personnel may accommodate voters that require help, but are to protect the right to secrecy of voters”.


About the Security personnel, it said the security personnel are required to ensure law and order throughout the electoral process while keeping neutrality intact. “Pregnant women, old and sick voters and people with disabilities have to be given priority to stand at the front of the queue”.


Security personnel are to ensure that no electoral material is tampered with, the code of conduct states “where any law enforcing agency is tasked with protecting and transporting election materials under its supervision, such election materials shall be transported with due care and diligence and shall not be tampered during their transport in any manner.”