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Provincial EC vows to implement code of conduct during LG polls

By Our Correspondent
January 11, 2023

The provincial election commission has sped up efforts for the conduct of transparent local bodies elections in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions.

Officials of the electoral body are also making efforts to implement the code of conduct and monitor election campaigns of political parties. The Election Commission of Pakistan secretary has been directed to reach Karachi, while the ECP has asked Sindh’s inspector general of police for foolproof security arrangements.

According to the ECP spokesperson, Provincial Monitoring Coordinator Sind Javed Iqbal Khattak on Tuesday visited the office of Karachi’s District East election commissioner and chaired a meeting with district monitoring officers and other officials in order to monitor the local government elections campaigns and related activities.

ECP officials also held a meeting with the deputy commissioner of Keamari to look into poll-related activities and implementation of the code of conduct. They directed the returning officers to educate their contesting candidates to ensure proper implementation of the code of conduct in letter and spirit.

Meanwhile, the election commission issued a notice to Federal Commerce Minister Naveed Qamar for violating the code of conduct. The electoral body directed him to appear in person or through a lawyer before the district monitoring officer and explain.

According to the ECP, the federal minister announced development projects on January 7 during his visit to District Tando Muhammad Khan, and that was a clear violation of the code of conduct. The local bodies polls are be held on Sunday.

The provincial election commission has also asked the IGP for fool proof security arrangements. In a letter, it has stated that the second phase of the polls are scheduled to be held on January 15 in all districts of Karachi and Hyderabad divisions.

“It is important to refer to Article 218 (3) of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan which empowers the Election Commission of Pakistan to make such arrangements as are necessary to ensure that the election is conduced honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law and that the corrupt practices are guarded against.”

It has also mentioned Section 5 of the Elections Act 2017 that makes it mandatory for all executive authorities to assist the election commission in the transparent and peaceful conduct of polls. “In order to provide requisite conducive peaceful environment both to voters and polling staff, the adequate security measures are required to be made at all the polling stations motivating the votes to exercise their right of franchise without any fear and feeling of insecurity.”

Keeping in view the prevailing political state of affairs and the intensity of the current political charged atmosphere, the commission has requested the IGP to provide foolproof security during conduct of the elections to prevent any untoward incident.

In addition, Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja has instructed the secretary of the commission to reach Karachi to monitor the second phase of the elections. As per the ECP spokesperson, the secretary will be present to monitor the second phase of the elections in Sindh.