Election Commission of Pakistan slaps ban on government ads at public cost
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan imposed on Friday a ban on using public money for advertisements given by the federal and provincial governments to promote their parties.
A press release issued by a spokesman for the commission said the ban would apply to advertisements appearing in the print or electronic media bearing party logo, party name, and images of party leaders and directly or indirectly promoting any party or candidate.
The ECP asked the federal and provincial governments to ensure its implementation in letter and spirit.
The spokesman said: “It has been noted with concern that as the forthcoming elections are approaching, there are frequent advertisements appearing in the print and electronic media which highlight the achievements of the incumbent federal and provincial governments and that these advertisements with party symbols are being used to promote political parties by placing party symbols and images of party leaders therein.”
He said: “These were against the norms of level-playing field, which cannot be allowed to continue as it will amount to misuse the resources from the public exchequer for their own self-interest.”
The spokesman said the arrangements had been made to ensure free, fair and transparent elections under Article 218(3) of the Constitution and this duty had been reiterated in the recent judgment of the Supreme Court where the apex court had observed that “the Election Commission is fully empowered and independent to do all that is necessary to fulfil its constitutional mandate and instruct that it do so.”