ECP issues SOPs for election observers


ISLAMABAD (TLTP): The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday issued the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the journalists and commentators who would cover the general elections scheduled to be held on February 8, 2024.

According to the guidelines issued by the ECP, journalists as well as commentators should be possessing Accreditation Cards for the purpose. Media personnel can apply for these cards, say the rules.

Similarly, members of non-governmental organisations and civil society can also submit their applications. The election commission said in its statement that it would maximum facilities for the coverage of elections.

In this connection, the ECP has also sent a letter to all returning officers (ROs).

Following is the text of ECP’s circular:

The Election Commission of Pakistan has approved SOPs for issuance of accreditation cards to the election observers/media (SOPs enclosed). The guidelines as per SOPs for DROs being Issuing Authority of the accreditation cards for election observers at District level are as under:

Accreditation Cards to the domestic observers and domestic media will be issued by the District Returning Officers only for all the constituencies in their respective districts.

National /local media, all the media persons/cameramen shall apply for Accreditation Cards on the letter head through relevant Press Information Department (PID) / lnformation Department/ Directorate General Public Relations (DGPR), District Press Information offices as where available at Provincial/ District level.

After authenticating all the media persons who have applied for accreditation, the respective Press Information Department (PID) shall send the verified cases to the respective Issuing Authority i.e. District Returning Officers. This way, only verified media personnel /journalist are able to cover the Elections.

The local NGOs and civil society organizations shall apply for Accreditation Cards on the letter head of their organization (attaching a verified consolidated list containing names, parentage, address, gender, NIC number, contact number and email, two photos, NIC copy of each observer as well as area wise deployment of these observers) to the concerned Issuing Authority i.e. District Returning Officer and the concerned NGO shall also submit an affidavit provided which takes the responsibility of the conduct of their observers on the polling day.

The DROs are to follow guidelines outlined in SOPs and to ensure implementation on Code of Conduct for national observers and national media approved by the Commission in their respective domain.

As the upcoming elections approach, the Election Commission of Pakistan is committed to ensuring a transparent and open electoral process. In line with Commission’s open-door policy, all national/domestic organizations and media houses are welcome to participate in the election observation and coverage process and they shall be extended maximum facilitation by timely issuance of accreditation cards by DROs.

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