MUZAFFARABAD: The Election Commission of Azad Kashmir on Thursday released the schedule for local government elections in Azad Kashmir according to which the much-delayed polls would be held on 28...
MUZAFFARABAD: The Election Commission of Azad Kashmir on Thursday released the schedule for local government (LG) elections in Azad Kashmir according to which the much-delayed polls would be held on 28 September 2022.
The polling will be held across the state from 8:00 am till 4:00 pm. Briefing the media here at the PID Complex, Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Abdul Rasheed Salahria, who was accompanied by Farhat Ali Mir and other members of the commission, said the local government elections were being held on party basis. Salahria said the date for the polls has been set after consultations with the government.
Senior member of the commission Farhat Ali Mir said that nomination papers can be submitted from August 15 to August 22 at 4 pm. “Returning officers will scrutinise the nomination papers on August 23 whereas appeals against the rejection of nomination papers can be filed with the tribunal till August 25,” Mir said, adding that appeals would simultaneously be heard on 26-27 August.
He said the candidates can withdraw their nomination papers by 29 August 2022 whereas the final list of the contesting candidates would be made public the same day after 2:00 pm. “Election symbols will be allotted to the candidates on August 30, after which the election list of candidates will be published along with their election symbols,” he said.
“After the announcement of the election schedule, there will be a complete ban on fresh appointments, promotions, transfers of government employees and creation of new posts. In case of urgency, permission from the commission is a prerequisite,” he added.
“Government ministers cannot directly distribute funds”, he said, adding that during this period a complete ban would be on allotment of electricity polls, distribution of pipes and initiation of new development schemes.
“Use of state machinery and resources in elections has also been banned and action would be taken against those who violate the code of conduct,” he added. “There is also a law by which a candidate could be disqualified if found guilty of violating the code of conduct”.
Regarding the code of conduct, the election commissioner further said that the commission has taken political stakeholders on board in this regard and after incorporating their suggestions, the code of conduct would be released shortly.
The election commissioner said that in addition to the AJK Police, the commission has sought the deployment of Rangers to maintain law and order and hold fair and transparent elections in the state.
To a query, Farhat Ali Mir said that for public awareness, a media campaign would be launched to sensitise the people about the importance of these elections. On the occasion, Director General Information Raja Azhar Iqbal and others were also present.