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July 14, 2018

‘Candidates being provided equal opportunity to contest polls’


July 14, 2018

Taking note of allegations by certain political parties, including PPP and MQM, on social media site Twitter, regarding alleged restrictions on their election campaign, the spokesman for the Sindh government has clarified that the caretaker government’s mandate is to facilitate the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in holding free and fair elections.

In this regard, every candidate contesting election is being provided with equal opportunity of election campaign, irrespective of political party, in accordance with the law and Code of Conduct issued by the ECP, the spokesperson said in a statement issued on Friday. The official categorically rejected the allegations that directives have been issued to restrict election campaign of particular candidates or political parties, adding that all contesting candidates and parties as well as their supporters are free to carry out their campaigns and activities, but as the per the ECP’s code of conduct, which was formulated with the consensus of all the political parties.

The spokesman further said that a formal complaint management system is in place and empowered to deal with complaints of any hurdle or restriction in the campaigns or violations of code of conduct. Such complaints can also be lodged with the District Monitoring Officers (DMOs) deputed in the province, he said.

The statement further quoted the official as advising all the electoral candidates to approach the district returning officers (DROs) or DMOs formally, in case of any complaint, giving specific details and seek redressal of their grievances from the relevant forum in accordance with the law.

The spokesman warned that “unfounded allegations against the caretaker administration and misguiding the public” through Twitter and other social media applications by candidates and political parties is inappropriate and in itself a violation of election laws. He advised all concerned to avoid it.

Unfortunately, it also encourages anti-state elements or undemocratic forces to take advantage and create more uncertainty to sabotage and frustrate the excellent efforts of the ECP and the caretaker government to facilitate the holding of free and fair election for all, the spokesman added.

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