FAFEN demands ECP to ensure state property free of campaign material

ISLAMABAD, The District Long-Term Observers (DLTOs) of Free and Fair Election Network (Network) observed District Election Commissioner (DEC) offices in four districts and other government offices in seven districts between March 11 and 17, 2013 and found out use of state resources by political parties for election campaigning, says a press release issued on Tuesday.

According to a statement, the DLTOs were tasked to observe whether there was any campaign material, such as party flags, banners, posters, stickers and wall chalking on the premises of government offices.

Similar to FAFEN s earlier observations, Pakistan People s Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had the highest incidence of campaign material on the premises of government buildings. In addition, at least seven other parties had their campaign material on state property.

The report is based on observations of District Election Commissioner (DEC) offices in four districts   Sahiwal and Lahore in Punjab and Kech and Washuk in Balochistan   and other government offices in seven districts   Sialkot, Bahawalnagar and Gujrat in Punjab; Khyber Agency and Mohmand Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA); Swat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Harnai in Balochistan. The DLTOs were tasked to observe whether there was any campaign material, such as party flags, banners, posters, stickers and wall chalking on the premises of government offices.
Most of the material was found in Swat (KP) and Sialkot (Punjab), followed by Gujrat (Punjab).

FAFEN observers saw seven kinds of material outside four offices in Sialkot, and as many banners, stickers and posters outside three offices in Swat. The DLTO in Gujrat saw two types of posters, a banner and a party flag outside two government offices. In Mohmand Agency (FATA), Harnai (Balochistan) and Bahawalnagar (Punjab), DLTOs each reported one instance of campaign material posted outside a government building.

In total, FAFEN observers found eight instances of wall chalking, seven posters, six banners, two flags and two party stickers on the premises of government buildings. Most of the material was found outside the offices of Deputy Commissioners (DCs)/District Coordination Officers (DCOs), followed by the offices of Executive District Officers (EDOs) Education and District Police Officers (DPOs). A few materials were seen outside EDO Health offices. In many cases, campaign material of different parties was seen on the premises of the same building.

Out of four DEC offices observed, FAFEN observers reported seeing wall chalking of PML-F and PPP-SB outside the office in Washuk (Balochistan). The remaining three DEC offices in Lahore, Sahiwal (Punjab) and Kech (Balochistan) did not have any campaign material on their premises.

FAFEN observers reported seeing PPPP s campaign material at five government offices in four districts, while PML-N s banners, posters and graffiti were found outside as many offices in three districts.

The Awami National Party (ANP), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and JamiatUlema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) each had their campaign material outside three state offices. In addition, observers saw campaign material of four other parties   Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Peoples Party-Shaheed Bhutto (PPP-SB) and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F)   on the premises of government buildings.

Most of the material was found in Swat and Sialkot, followed by Gujrat. FAFEN observers saw seven kinds of campaign material outside four offices in Sialkot, and as many banners, stickers and posters outside three offices in Swat. The DLTO in Gujrat saw two posters, a banner and a party flag outside two offices. Mohmand Agency, Harnai and Bahawalnagar DLTOs reported the least campaign material outside government buildings.

FAFEN observers reported seeing eight instances of wall chalking, seven posters, six banners, two flags and two party stickers on the premises of government buildings. Similar to FAFEN s earlier observations, most of the campaign material was found outside the offices of Deputy Commissioners (DCs)/District Coordination Officers (DCOs), followed by the offices of Executive District Officers (EDOs) Education and District Police Officers (DPOs). Less material was seen outside the EDO Health s office.
In some cases, campaign material of different parties was seen on the premises of the same building.

FAFEN observers saw banners of PPPP, PML-N and PTI outside the DC/DCO office in Sialkot.  JI had its flag, poster and banner outside the DC/DCO office in Gujrat.
In addition, observers saw graffiti of JUI-F and PML-N outside the EDO Education s office in Sialkot, while ANP s banners and stickers were seen outside the same office in Swat. The DLTO in Bahawalnagar reported seeing PML-N s graffiti outside the EDO Education s office.

FAFEN observers reported seeing a local party s flag and wall chalking outside the DPO office in Khyber Agency, while PTI and PPPP had their graffiti and posters at the same office in Sialkot and Gujrat. Posters of ANP, PPPP and PML-N were seen outside the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) office in Swat, while PPPP s poster and JUI-F s sticker were seen outside the office of Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) in the same district.

Based on its repeated observation of campaign material on government property, FAFEN reiterated its recommendations that the Caretaker government, ECP and other relevant state institutions should ensure that state property is not used for any political or campaigning purpose besides the political parties and citizens should observe public offices across the country and promptly report any campaigning at public offices to the ECP and other authorities.





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