ECP bans ‘political’ advertisements

Election Commission of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Taking serious notice of usage of taxpayers’ money on the projection of political parties, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has imposed a complete ban on political advertisements in the print or electronic media.

The ECP has barred advertisements bearing any political party’s logo, political party’s name, images of political parties’ leaders and/or directly or indirectly promoting any political party or candidate. It issued a directive to the federal and provincial governments asking them to ensure implementation of the restriction in letter and spirit. The ECP issued a statement on Friday which said that it has been noted with concern by the ECP that as the forthcoming elections are approaching, advertisements are frequently appearing in the print and electronic media which highlight the achievements of the incumbent federal and provincial governments.

The commission noted that these advertisements, which include party symbols, are being used to promote political parties and their leaders. It said that such advertisements should not be promoting party interests at the expense of public money and are against the norm of level playing field, which cannot be allowed to continue as it would amount to misuse of the resources of the public exchequer for self-interest. The election commission noted that it is bound to ensure free, fair and transparent elections under Article 218(3) of the constitution. – DailyTimes