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June, 15

Government: Pak’s top election body asks federal and provincial interim govts to provide it with assistance in holding polls

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s top election body on Tuesday asked the federal and provincial interim governments to provide it with every assistance in holding the upcoming general elections in accordance with the law. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued a set of guidelines as it was preparing to organize the polls following the dissolution of the national and provincial assemblies.

“It has become imperative that the election commission shall take all necessary steps under the Constitution and prevalent law for the smooth conduct of general elections,” it stated.
It instructed the interim governments to ensure compliance with all notifications, directives and provisions of Section 230 of the election law, which pertains to the functions of a caretaker government.

The ECP further asked the caretaker governments not to post or transfer any public official after the issuance of this notification under the federal and provincial governments without the commission’s prior approval in writing.
It also bars interim setups from announcing or executing any kind of development schemes at federal and provincial levels except those which are ongoing and approved before the issuance of this notification.
However, in the case of any vital scheme, the issue may be referred to the ECP.
The interim setups have also been directed to ensure the immediate termination of services of all heads of the institutions appointed on a political basis and to send all such cases to the ECP for the approval of termination or otherwise.
The ECP ordered that the former prime minister and his advisers, former chief ministers along with their advisers, former federal and provincial ministers and former members of assemblies vacate their residential facilities provided by the government while official vehicles provided to them were also withdrawn along with the security/ protocol.
“The caretaker governments shall not attempt to influence the elections or do or cause to be done anything which may, in any manner, influence or adversely affect free and fair elections,” the notification reads.
The elections should be held within 90 days but may be delayed as the ECP is bound to carry out delimitation after the new census.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked the ECP to conduct the process of delimitations transparently, stressing that it was a “matter of public interest”.
He made the remarks while hearing an old petition pertaining to errors and illegalities in the delimitation in Shikarpur district in Sindh.





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