The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced a ban on exit and entrance polls, as well as surveys at polling stations or constituencies, in order to maintain voters’ freedom of choice. The code of conduct for the upcoming general elections also prohibits media outlets from running campaigns for candidates or political parties at the expense of public funds. Media platforms that accept paid political advertisements must disclose the expenditure to the ECP. The code also outlines restrictions on the content published by media outlets, including avoiding any statements that harm national solidarity or create law-and-order issues. Personal attacks on candidates or parties based on factors such as gender, religion, or caste are also prohibited. Monitoring of media coverage will be carried out by authorities such as the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) and the Cyber Wing of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The government is responsible for providing protection to journalists and ensuring their freedom of expression. Additionally, the code encourages media organizations to launch educational programs targeting marginalized groups to increase voter turnout. Accredited media personnel will be allowed to film the voting process once, but secrecy of the ballot must be maintained. The code also regulates the reporting of results, with a one-hour embargo on unofficial results. The ECP has the right to withdraw accreditation for violations of the code of conduct.
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