PakistanPolitics

Candidates and Parties to Wrap Up Election Campaign by Feb 6 Midnight, ECP Says

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced that the election campaign for the general elections 2024 will end on February 6 midnight, and no person shall hold or participate in any public meeting, procession, corner meeting or such political activity after that.

The ECP spokesperson said that this was in accordance with Section 182 of the Elections Act 2017, and anyone who violates this provision of the law will face legal action. The spokesperson urged the candidates and political parties to abide by the law and respect the electoral code of conduct.

The general elections 2024 are scheduled to take place on February 8, in which the voters will elect the members of the National Assembly and the provincial assemblies. The ECP has already issued the list of contesting candidates, the election schedule, the polling scheme, and the training material for the election staff.

The ECP is also overseeing the preparations of the federal and provincial governments for the smooth and transparent conduct of the elections. On Monday, the caretaker Federal Minister for Communications Maritime Affairs and Railways Shahid Ashraf Tarar, who is the convener of the committee constituted by the prime minister to monitor the election arrangements, met with the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja at the Election Commission Secretariat in Islamabad.

The minister briefed the CEC on the steps taken by the federal and provincial governments to ensure the security, transportation, communication, and logistics for the elections. The CEC appreciated the efforts of the minister and the committee and assured them of the ECP’s full cooperation and coordination.

The ECP has also issued its “Code of Conduct for Security Personnel” last week, which outlines the duties and responsibilities of the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) during the election process. The code of conduct applies to all the security personnel, except the armed forces and civil armed forces, who will provide security for the printing and transport of ballot papers along with the polling bags, the polling stations, the polling staff, and the voters.

The code of conduct directs the LEAs to perform their duties in accordance with the law and within the confines of the mandate assigned to the police. It also stresses the need for the LEAs to remain impartial and neutral throughout the election process and not to act in favour of or against any political party or candidate in any manner whatsoever.

The code of conduct also warns the security personnel against disallowing a voter to cast his/her vote, interfering with the election staff, influencing the voters, disclosing the voting pattern or result, or violating the secrecy of the ballot. The code of conduct also provides the mechanism for the complaints and grievances against the security personnel and the disciplinary action to be taken against them.

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