LAHORE - The Provincial Election Commission issued a code of conduct for the local government polls, imposing ban on the announcement of development projects and visit of the government officials and public representatives to the constituencies.

Addressing a news conference here on Friday, Punjab Election Commissioner Mehboob Anwar said that as per the code of conduct, elected representatives including prime minister, chief minister, speaker, deputy speaker, federal or provincial ministers and advisors, MNAs, MPAs and any govt official could not visit the local govt constituencies.

The expenditure limits for the candidates during their election campaigns have also been fixed. Under the new expenditure limits, the contenders of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor seats in Metropolitan Corporation and Municipal Corporations can spend maximum Rs200,000 while the candidates of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman slots in Union Councils up to Rs100,000 only. The councillors on general seats can spend only Rs30,000 for their election campaigns and the District Council Chairman and Vice-Chairman maximum Rs50,000 as per limits fixed in the code of conduct.

The candidates contesting the local government elections on reserved seats in Union Councils, District Councils, Municipal Corporations and Metropolitan Corporation would only spent Rs20,000 for their election campaign.

Talking about the composition of the LG according to the newly amended Local Government Act 2013 for Punjab he said that the commission was going to conduct elections in one Metropolitan Corporation, 11 Municipal Corporations, 35 District Councils, 172 Municipal Committees and 4,028 Union Councils. He said that for each constituency, exclusive ballot papers would be printed bearing the names and symbols of the candidates. He said it was also informed that the printing of ballot papers would commence after issuance of final list of contesting candidates by the Returning Officers.

He further stated there are 36 District Returning Officers, 691 Returning Officers and 707 Assistant Returning Officers for the conduct of LG polls in Punjab, adding there are 143 appellate authorities for timely disposal of appeals regarding acceptance and rejection of nomination papers. He added that the candidates, who had submitted the candidature fee during election schedule issued earlier, are not required to submit the fee again.