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Leaders endorse CDP for fair elections

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Lahore: leading politicians, parliamentarians, lawyers, and journalists have agreed on a “Code of Democratic Politics and Free and Fair Elections”, proposed by Citizens for Democracy, and called on all political parties to sign it.
Those who have endorsed the Code of Politics include Aftab Sherpas, President PQP, Senator Raza Rabbani, PPP, Senator Mushahid Hussain, PMLN, Malik Mohammed Ahmed, former Advisor to PM Shehbaz, Barrister Aitzas Ahsan, PPP, Liaquat Baluch, General Secretary Jamaat I Islami, Mohsin Dawar MNA, President NDM, Senator Afrasayab Khattak, Hamid Khan Advocate, PTI, Dr Maalick, President NP, Akhtar Hussain, President AWP, Farhatullah Babar, Gen Sec PPPP, Farooq Tariq, Senator Manzoor Gichki, President HKM, Taimur Rehman, Secretary General MKP, Khadim Hussain, ANP, Malik Ayub, President NP Punjab, Ahsan Bhon, former President SCBA, Hassan Raza Pasha, Chairman PBC, Abid Saqi, PLF, Sabahat Rizvi, LHCBA, Afzal Butt, President PFUJ, Aamir, Gen Sec CPNE, Kazim Khan, CPNE, Azhar Abbas, Geo, Imtiaz Alam, Safma Secretary General, Najam Sethi, TFT, Zahid Hussain, Dawn, Sohail Warraich, Editor Jang, Hussain Naqi, Senior Editor, Rashid Rehman, Editor, Ayaz Khan, Editor Express, Mazhar Abbas, Analyst, Air Marshal Shehzad Chaudhary, Analyst, Nasir Zaidi, PFUJ, Jabbar Khattak, Editor, Jugnu Mohsin MPA, Raza Rumi, Editor TFT, Sheema Kirmani, Tehreek Niswan, Khawar Mumtaz, WAF, Farzana Bari, Aurat March, Saleema Hashmi, Artist, Civil Society Activists, Mohammed Tehseen SAP, Dr Bashir, Amjad, Minhas, Peter Jacob, Economist Dr Akmal Hussain, Dr Shahid Kardar, Dr Waseem, LUMS, Dr Nadia Pervez, and over one hundred human rights activists and associates of Citizens for Democracy.

Political leaders and civil society activists have shared widespread concerns regarding:
a. Autocratic manipulations, ‘political engineering’ and massive rigging of electoral processes and elections in the past and its possible recurrence in future elections;
b. A political culture of abusive rhetorics, intolerance, enmity, exclusionary approaches, and falsification of informed discourse to suit political expediency at the cost of a healthy public debate on policy issues;
c. Intervention of and manipulation by any state institution in the electoral processes and influencing a fair outcome of elections in favor of or against any political party;
d. Use of money, parochial, ethnic, and sectarian ideologies or prejudices, and hate speech during the election campaigns and use of unfair means on the day of elections, including buying of votes, tempering with ballot papers/ballot boxes and all kinds of rigging and manipulation of vote counting and actual results;
e. Not letting women, minorities, and other marginalized groups and deprived regions freely exercise their right to the franchise;
f. Undemocratic practices of not acknowledging and respecting the mandate(s) of the people and subverting or bulldozing a healthy functioning of the Parliament while respecting pluralism and adopting inclusiveness;
g. Not respecting and accommodating the difference of opinion and pushing the Treasury and the Opposition benches beyond the limits of legitimate parliamentary conventions of tolerance and accommodation.
h. Pushing adversaries to the wall implicating them in false cases and denying parliamentarians the right to represent the electorates of their constituencies and respective parties.

Appeal to all Political parties
They have agreed to adhere to the CDP and appealed to all political parties to sign it.
“Learning from the past mistakes and wrongdoings they agreed to observe the following Code of Democratic Politics:
1. Respect fundamental human, civil, social, and economic rights of people and equal rights of women and minorities as enshrined in the UN Declarations, Covenants, and the 1973 Constitution.
2. Uphold the supremacy of the 1973 Constitution, sovereignty of people represented by Parliament, cooperative federalism as enshrined in the 18th Amendment, and devolution of power to the grassroots level to empower people.
3. Ensure the rights of all citizens regardless of any distinction while preserving the Doctrine of the Sovereignty of Parliament and Separation of Powers among various institutions of the State within the confines of their constitutional scope and limits.
4. Respect Freedom of Expression and differences of opinion in a civilized manner without indulging in acrimonious and abusive polemics and personal/sectarian/parochial/sexist vilification.
5. An unfettered Right to Free Franchise is a most crucial fundamental right of All Citizens, who are The Sovereign in deciding their destiny and the fate of the state. Most importantly, a credible, free, and fair election, without the exclusion of any legitimate political party, is the prerequisite of a legitimate government and the sovereignty of the Parliament.
6. Reject any interference in politics and electoral processes, and their truthful outcomes, by any state institution or an agency, and influence of money and coercion be it private or otherwise.
7. Ensure a fair, civilized, tolerant, informed, and democratic discourse in politics and elections.
8. Discourage illegitimate and foul means to influence elections for the sake of and sharing of power or self-aggrandizement.
9. Adopt peaceful, civilized, and legitimate means in contesting elections while respecting the mandate(s) of the people and following democratic norms and parliamentary conventions.
10. Devote respective programs and manifestos for the larger benefit of the masses, oppressed and deprived sections of the population in particular, with a focus on eradicating poverty and inequality, and preparing our youth to meet the challenges of a globalized multi-polar world while benefiting from the scientific and technological revolution.
11. Refrain from and reject political victimization, arbitrary arrests and kidnapping of political activists.
12. Promote peace, amity, and cooperation in the country, region, and the world on the principles of peaceful Co-existence.

(Citizens for Democracy)

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