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October 6, 2015

ECP to supply ballot papers under army supervision

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October 6, 2015

LAHORE: A high-level meeting of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), chaired by the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan, accepting the demand of PTI chief Imran Khan, decided on Monday to supply ballot papers to returning officers (ROs) under the supervision of Pakistan Army personnel.
The printing of ballot papers for NA-122, Lahore, by-election is in progress under the management of Pakistan Army personnel.
The ECP high-level meeting reviewed the arrangements for the by-polls and Local Government (LG) polls in the Punjab.
Punjab Chief Secretary Khizar Hayat Gondal, IG Punjab Police Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera and district returning officers attended the meeting.
The meeting decided to strictly monitor the by-polls with the establishment of control rooms in the provincial election commission and Islamabad. CEC Sardar Muhammad Raza will himself monitor the by-elections.
The CEC said that civil and military institutions should work according to the Constitution and help the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold free, fair and transparent elections.
Stressing on the teamwork, Sardar Raza Khan said, “The ECP alone cannot hold transparent elections without the assistance of civil and military institutions.”
The CEC called upon the police and military leadership to perform their duties as per the Constitution.
“The government officials are servants of the general public,” he said and added: “They should not have affiliation with any person or party.” He said it was the responsibility of all officers present in the meeting to work honestly.
Later, while briefing newsmen, ECP Secretary Babar Yaqub said the ECP would ensure holding of free, fair and transparent by-elections and local government elections in Punjab.
The secretary said that IG Punjab Police has assured that the police will perform their duties neutrally during the elections. He said that during the meeting, District

Returning Officers of Faisalabad, Okara and Gujrat requested for provision of Pak Army or Punjab Rangers personnel for holding the local government elections in their respective districts.
He said the Pak Army personnel will be deputed inside and outside of polling stations in the by-elections of NA-122 Lahore. He said Pak Army had asked provision of CCTV cameras for installation at the polling stations.
Meanwhile, Federal Ministers Khawaja Saad Rafique, Marvi Memon and Abid Sher Ali have been served notices by the Returning Officer (RO) in NA-122 for violating the election code of conduct. The RO has sought reply from them on October 6 (today).
The Election Commission had imposed a ban on federal ministers, including the prime minister, to take part in campaigning and to deliver speeches in favour of candidates.
On the other hand, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Marvi Memon and Abid Sher Ali took part in the election campaign and addressed a rally.