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Saturday August 20, 2022

Committed to holding fair by-elections: ECP

The Punjab CEC said all possible steps had been taken for holding peaceful by-elections in Punjab

By Our Correspondent
July 16, 2022
Punjab Election Commissioner Saeed Gul addressing a press conference in Lahore on July 15, 2022. Photo: Screengrab of a Twitter video.
Punjab Election Commissioner Saeed Gul addressing a press conference in Lahore on July 15, 2022. Photo: Screengrab of a Twitter video.

LAHORE: Punjab Election Commissioner Saeed Gul on Friday informed newsmen about the preparations for by-elections to be held on July 17 in 20 constituencies of Punjab and said the Election Commission Punjab was committed to holding transparent elections.

Addressing a press conference here, he said all possible steps had been taken for holding peaceful by-elections. On July 17, the ECP secretary would set up a camp in Lahore to monitor the by-elections. He said the chief election commissioner, along with four ECP members, would monitor the election process in the control room of the commission in Islamabad. Gul said preparations for holding the by-elections had been completed. Security, transport and other plans had been developed in collaboration with the administration and relevant agencies. Ballot papers had been delivered to returning officers and instructions had been issued to law-enforcement agencies to enforce the code of conduct on the polling day.

He said that a day before polling, the election material would be handed over to presiding officers from the offices of returning officers and polling staff. He said a vehicle had been arranged for each polling station. The commission had a complete record of vehicles, polling staff and security personnel deployed for election duty and their transportation would be closely monitored.

Talking about security arrangements to maintain law and order in the constituencies, he said the services of police, Rangers and army were being sought for the by-elections. Police personnel would be deployed at polling stations while Rangers would patrol the constituencies. Army personnel would be on standby. About 50,000 policemen would be on duty for the by-elections. About violations of the code of conduct, he said that so far, fines of Rs577,500 had been imposed on various persons for violating the code of conduct. He informed that the total number of polling stations in the 20 constituencies of Punjab was 3,131 out of which 676 were highly sensitive, 1,194 sensitive and 1,271 normal. CCTV cameras would be installed at the most sensitive polling stations. He said the candidates had been instructed that their polling agents must obtain a copy of Form 45 and 46 signed by the presiding officers and give a receipt of these copies. He clarified about the news aired related to dead voters, saying that it was an event of a single constituency in Karachi after which the commission re-verified all the dead voters in the country. He said a data entry operator could not change the list of all the constituencies. 

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