Punjab by-polls: ECP takes notice of ‘irregularities’
ISLAMABAD, Nov 29: The Election Commission of Pakistan has taken serious notice of the alleged irregularities ahead of by-elections for two seats of National Assembly and three of provincial assembly in Punjab scheduled to be held on Dec 4.
Informed sources told Dawn that contesting candidates and political parties had filed six complaints with the ECP against the alleged use of state resources to influence the by-polls result. They said specific complaints had been received against Hamza Shahbaz, son of Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, and Fawad Chaudhry, Adviser to Prime Minister on Political Affairs.
The ECP directed the chief secretary of Punjab, inspector general of police, district coordination officers and the district police officers concerned to ensure implementation of the code of conduct in letter and spirit. No government machinery or state resources should be used in election campaign of any candidate, it said.
Letters have been sent to the authorities concerned and they have been told that any violation of the ECP’s code of conduct should be looked into to ensure the conduct of by-elections in a free, fair and transparent manner.
The officials were warned that any deviation might entail legal consequences.
The election commissioner of Punjab has also been directed to ensure that such complaints are not repeated as the ECP is committed to taking all possible steps to redress concerns of any complainant and to ensure holding of free and fair by-elections.
By-elections in NA-107, Gujrat-IV; NA-162, Sahiwal-III; PP-26, Jhelum-III; PP-92, Gujranwala-II; and PP-122, Sialkot-II, are scheduled to be held on Dec 4.