ECP to constitute monitoring teams for upcoming general elections

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ISLAMABAD : The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has decided to constitute monitoring teams and appoint district monitoring officers for the upcoming general elections in the country .

The commission with Chief Election Commissioner Retired Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza in the chair took the decision on Friday.

To keep an eye on poll campaigns and check any violation of laws the ECP had previously constituted monitoring teams in all districts across the country for the general elections 2013.

Now the Elections Act 2017 provides a legal cover to the concept of monitoring teams and explains in clear terms how these teams will operate and report any violations by contesting candidates and political parties.

According to reports the monitoring teams and officers will be positioned and active before the announcement of the schedule of elections in this month.

Section 234(1) of the Elections Act reads:

“The Commission shall constitute a monitoring team consisting of such number of persons as may be determined by it, to monitor election campaign of the candidates and political parties and report, on regular basis in the prescribed manner, to an officer nominated by the Commission in respect of each district for the purpose of deciding the complaints regarding any violation by a candidate or a political party of any provision of the Act, Rules or the Code of Conduct issued by the Commission”.

Under sub-section 2, it was for the commission to constitute a monitoring team for a constituency or a group of constituencies and determine their terms of reference.

According to reports under subsection 3, the district monitoring officer if receives any information regarding the violation of law it to hold an inquiry and if proven guilty that party would have to pay a fine limited to an amount of Rs 50,000.No other punishment is set for such violation.

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