Army personnel to guard polling stations

ECP issues code of conduct for general polls

Sophia Siddiqui


Army personnel would be deployed both inside and outside polling stations to ensure security during General Election.
This was decided at a meeting held in Islamabad on Thursday chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan.
The meeting, convened to review security arrangements for elections, also decided that foolproof security would be provided during the printing of ballot papers. For this purpose, army personnel would be deployed at Security Printing Press from June 27 to July 25.
Speaking to the media later in the day, the director general of Election Commission of Pakistan’s media cell said closed-circuit television cameras would be installed at 20,000 sensitive polling stations across the country. Sources said the most sensitive of the polling stations would be fitted with three to four CCTV cameras.
The ECP official said close coordination would also be maintained with National Counter Terrorism Authority to prevent any untoward incident.
Moreover, he added, it was decided foolproof security would be provided to political leaders, for which provinces will make necessary arrangements.
The provincial government would also be responsible for the security of district returning officers, returning officers and presiding officers.
As per a revised election schedule issued by ECP on June 8, the last day to submit nomination papers was extended from June 8 to June 11.
The electoral body had earlier said that the date for submission of nomination papers was extended to facilitate political parties.
Thedeadline to complete the scrutiny of nomination papers was changed from June 14 to June 19.
The last day to file appeals against any objection to the decisions of returning officers was extended till June 22. The verdicts on appeals will be announced by June 27, after which, the revised list of candidates will be issued on June 28.
Candidates will be able to withdraw their nomination papers on June 29, and the electoral body will announce the final list of candidates on the same day.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday issued an 86-point code of conduct for the upcoming general election 2018. The code of conduct, divided into two parts, pertains to political parties, contesting candidates, election agents and polling agents.
According to the code of conduct, the political parties, candidates and election agents shall at all times uphold the rights and freedom of the people of Pakistan as guaranteed by the Constitution and law.
The political parties, candidates and election agents shall abide by all directions, instructions and regulations issued by the Election Commission, from time to time, relating to smooth conduct of elections, the maintenance of public order and morality and refrain from maligning the Election Commission in any form whatsoever, violation whereof would entail contempt as contemplated in Section 10 of the Elections Act 2017, it adds.
Another point states that the political parties shall endeavor to provide equal opportunity to its qualified members both men and women to participate in electoral process and, while making the selection of candidates on general seats in an Assembly, the party shall ensure at least five percent representation of women candidates as required under Section 206 of the Act.

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