LAHORE: The home department of the Punjab government has requested the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to postpone the NA-75 Daska by-polls until after Ramazan due to the “prevailing tense situation” in the constituency.
In a letter to the Election Commission, the provincial government stated that the voter turnout could be affected as the situation has not returned to normal in the area.
The ECP had earlier announced that re-polling in the constituency will be held on April 10, after the February 19 election was declared void on PML-N candidate Syeda Nosheen Iftikhar’s plea.
The PML-N had requested for repolling in the constituency, saying that during the last election, a free and fair environment had not been provided to voters as clashes between rival parties — the PTI and the PML-N — had claimed the lives of two people while six others were injured.
PTI’s Asjad Malhi, however, had opposed the decision of to hold repolling in the entire constituency.
While declaring the Feb 19 polling as void, the Election Commission had said that from the perusal of the record produced by the parties, the Returning Officer, as well as that collected by the Commission through different sources, it has arrived at the conclusion that a conducive environment was not available for the candidates and voters of the constituency and the election in the subject constituency has not been conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in a transparent manner.
The Punjab government stated that the newly appointed administration would require time to bring the environment to normal and hold elections peacefully.
"Armed men brought by political parties can be reactivated during the polling," the letter read.
SC rejects PTI’s request
The Supreme Court Tuesday rejected PTI candidate Ali Asjad Malhi’s plea to suspend the ECP short order about re-polling in NA-75
“We cannot decide the matter without listening to the other side,” Justice Umer Ata Bandial told the petitioner during the hearing.
A three-member SC bench, headed by Justice Umer Ata Bandial, heard the PTI candidate’s petition, challenging the ECP order of Feb 25, 2021, declaring the by-election at NA-75 void and ordering re-polling.
Justice Bandial said they might reserve the judgment on Friday (March 19), directing counsel for Nausheen Iftikhar, the respondent, to ensure her appearance in the court.
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