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February 10, 2018

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Imran addresses public meeting in Lodhran despite ECP bar

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Friday addressed a public meeting in Lodhran in connection with the by-election despite a bar imposed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on him from doing so, as this was in violation of the code of conduct.

Regional Election Commissioner Syed Hammad Ijaz wrote to Imran Khan and asked him to adhere to the code of conduct and the directives by the Election Commission. He mentioned that it was learnt through sources that the PTI had planned a public meeting in an area, which is part of the NA-154 constituency, where a by-poll was scheduled on February 12.

He contended in the letter that the Election Commission expects that political parties, their leadership and candidates would abide by the code of conduct and ECP’s directives, which would increase public support for fair and transparent electoral exercise.

District Election Commissioner Ibrar Ahmad Jatoi, earlier, also wrote to the PTI candidate Ali Khan Tareen, who is contesting by-election for NA-154, Lodhran-I seat, reminding him about the code of conduct. He was informed by the district election commissioner that as per the Election Commission’s code of conduct, no prime minister, ministers, advisers and legislators could carry out a political activity where an electoral exercise was to be conducted. Already, in the recent past, Imran and leaders of the ruling PML-N had figured in poll-related activities in Jhelum and elsewhere and were duly served notices by the Election Commission.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission issued polling scheme for by-election in NA-154, Lodhran. According to details, 338 polling stations and 1043 polling booths have been set up in the constituency for voters. A total of 10 candidates are in the arena for the by-poll.

There are around 431,000 registered voters in this constituency, consisting more than 23,600 men and 19,400 women. Moreover, 338 presiding, 1,043 assistant presiding and 20,474 polling officers have been assigned for election duties.

M Iqbal of the PML-N, Ali Tareen of the PTI, Mirza M Ali Baig of the PPP are seen as the key contestants. This by-election is taking place after the disqualification of Jahangir Tareen from the same constituency as MNA.

In another development, the Election Commission restored the registration of the MQM-P, PML-Functional and the National Party. The parties can now participate in the Senate elections, fixed for March 03.

Earlier, the Election Commission had cancelled the registration of these and several other parties for not submitting registration fee and a list of 2,000 workers, along with their CNIC copies.

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