The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would like to borrow a leaf out of its Indian counterpart’s manual, particularly with regard to the Model Code of Conduct. The ECP wants administrative powers where the government machinery would come under it once the elections are announced.

The ECP is understood to have suggested this in the reforms drafted by it to ensure a level-playing field in the run-up to elections scheduled for this summer. If held as scheduled, this will be Pakistan’s first elections under civilian rule. Earlier this week, the Commission had issued a directive banning recruitments except through the federal and provincial Public Service Commissions. Taking a grim view of complaints about diversion of funds from development projects to the discretionary fund of the Prime Minister, the ECP banned such reallocations.

The ECP described such recruitments and diversion of funds on the eve of the elections as “nothing short of yet another facet of pre-poll-rigging” that could taint the electoral process.

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