Regardless of limits set in election expanses by law, the political candidates spend much more than stipulated amount. Votes are sold, votes are bought in elections. Political affiliations, political support, and elections are manipulated by spending money. Money is used for campaign electronic and print advertisements. Money is used for running election offices, for corner meetings, and for Election Day process. Certainly, regulation of finances for political campaign matters because the free use of money can pave the way for manipulation of elections.
In each of the last 10 General Elections held in Pakistan, from 1977 to 2013, there have been many accusations (and counter accusations) of pre and post-election vote rigging, manipulation, and mandate snatching. Opposition and loosing parties often make these claims, and the mainstream media reports vigorously. For instance, in a famous Supreme Court judgment after the 1990 elections, in Asgher Khan Case regarding the use of money for poll rigging, the Court established that the Army had bought political loyalty. Such type of stories have regularly been in media all the way up until 2013.
Nevertheless, in the last ten years and so, though demanded several times, there seemed no legal reforms regarding political finance in Pakistan. There were not even presented any bills in legislature regarding political finance. Only the matter of increasing the upper limit of election expenses (from 1.5 million rupees (approx. 15,000 US dollars), was reported discussed in a cabinet meeting. The basic reason for this is that candidates do, in practice, spend much more than the stipulated amount; however, in order to conceal the violation of Article 49 of The Representation of the People Act, 1976, candidates deliberately submit misleading reports on their expenses to the ECP. As the ECP does not have mechanisms to enforce, monitor, and verify the reported elections expenses and violations of regulations and code of conduct, it is easy for candidates to mislead the ECP without repercussions.
The sections 5 and 6 of The Political Parties Order 2002, requires political parties to maintain bank accounts for party funds, contributions, and disbursement and to submit to ECP annual record. Similarly, sections 49 of the Representation of Peoples Act (ROPA) 1976, provides for limitation of election expenses to 1.5 million and one million through a valid single bank account for a candidate contesting elections for National Assembly seat and Provincial Assembly seat respectively. Additionally, section 50 of the ROPA 1976 provides for maintenance and return of election expenses constituted of contributions made and expenditures incurred to returning officers.
Nevertheless, for regulations of finances, there is need of enactment of new laws and implementation of existing ones, along with robust enforcement mechanism aided with state institutions such as State Bank, FBR, NADRA, NAB, and Judiciary.

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