Election Commission of Pakistan on Friday asked the media to refrain from airing any unofficial result of cantonment board elections for at least one hour after the voting process was over at polling stations.
In its code of conduct for coverage at the polling station and announcement of results, the election supervisory body has asked broadcasters to avoid airing any final formal, definite election result of a polling station until one hour was passed after the close of polls.
“The broadcasters will air only with a clear disclaimer that they are unofficial, incomplete and fractional results which should not be taken as a final result until the returning Officer has announced the results of ward,” it added.
Only the accredited media persons would be allowed to enter a polling station along with the camera for making footage of the voting process or counting process only for onetime.
However, they cannot make footage of the screened off compartment to maintain the ballot’s secrecy.
The code of conduct has bared media from broadcasting or publishing any content which could adversely affect public opinion against a particular party or candidate.
The media organizations should avoid disseminating information about a party or a candidate which is not supported by cogent evidence and not to air or publish any news related to a candidate without ascertaining its veracity.
Media should ensure balanced coverage of the election campaign of all contesting parties and must avoid airing or publishing opponents’ remarks about personal life of any candidate.
“If a candidate makes allegations against another candidate, media should try to seek comments from both sides before broadcasting or publishing such allegations,” the code adds.
Similarly, wild allegations and statements which may harm national solidarity or create law and order shall be strictly avoided.
The media was barred from airing or publishing any violence inciting contents.
Meanwhile, Pemra has been asked to monitor the coverage given to parties through public and private radio and TV channels.