ECP bans election ads at public expenditure

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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday imposed a complete ban on advertisements in print or electronic media bearing any political party logo, political party name, images of political party leaders and/or directly or indirectly promoting any political party or candidate. The ECP issued directives to the federal and provincial governments to ensure its implementation in letter and spirit. It said 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. Such advertisements should not be promoting party interests at the expense of public money and thus are against the norm of a “level playing field”, which cannot be allowed to continue as it would amount to misuse the resources from the public exchequer for their own self-interest.