ISLAMABAD - The Election Commission of Pakistan yesterday held Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif did not violate the election code of conduct in his press conference in Lahore.

As per the code of conduct, the ECP said, the prime minister and ministers cannot ask for votes from voters once the election campaign ends. The government officials also cannot announce development schemes as per the election code of conduct, the ECP added.

The ECP statement came a few minutes after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) demanded the commission take notice of the prime minister’s presser, condemning it as violation of the election code of conduct.

The chief election commissioner said the commission was closely monitoring implementation on the code of conduct, asserting its violation would not be tolerated. He said the ECP secretary was in constant contact with the provincial election commissioners.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, in a letter to the chief election commissioner, said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other PML-N leaders were violating electoral laws. PTI Central Information Secretary Naeemul Haq wrote to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (r) Sardar Muhammad Raza, “We lodge a strong protest against the continuous violations of electoral laws by the PML-N leadership, including the prime minister and the Punjab chief minister, in the NA-122 campaign.”

The letter explained that the ECP was already aware of PTI’s position regarding ECP member from Punjab, Justice (r) Riaz Kiyani. “We do not accept this perceived impartiality and want you to intervene and stop all these violations designed to influence the voters’ mind after the campaign has ended,” the letter said, adding PTI also demanded the CEC’s personal oversight in the crucial by-election in NA-122.

Some weeks back, the Election Commission of Pakistan, as part of electoral code of conduct, had prevented parliamentarians, ministers and key functionaries of the executive at provincial and federal level from taking part in any election campaign. PTI went to the Lahore High Court against this decision of the ECP and the higher court gave decision in its favour.