Asian News Makers
ANM News More Pakistan Politics

Pakistan by-polls: Challenge for the Election Commission to ensure fairness!

Binny Yadav

Pakistan by-polls:As the clock struck midnight between Friday and Saturday, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) sent out a stern reminder to all candidates contesting in the upcoming by-polls.

Under Section 182 of the Election Act, 2017, campaigning officially halted, signaling the final phase before voters head to the polls on Sunday across 21 national and provincial assembly constituencies in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), and Balochistan.

The ECP emphasized the strict adherence to election regulations, cautioning candidates against engaging in any form of political activities after the deadline.

The Election Act bars individuals from organizing, attending, or participating in public gatherings or processions within the constituency for 48 hours after polls close until midnight. Violators of these regulations could face severe penalties, including imprisonment for up to two years, a fine of up to Rs100,000, or both.

The electoral body called upon the media and the public to actively participate in ensuring a free, fair, and transparent election process.

With the campaigning deadline behind them, candidates are now gearing up for the final push to secure votes. Door-to-door canvassing, mobilizing supporters, and organizing logistics for election day are top priorities as contenders seek to sway undecided voters in their favor.

Earlier this month, the ECP issued a notification regarding the organization of by-elections in a total of 23 constituencies, spanning across various provinces.

Notably, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari and Zubair Ahmed Junejo won their seats unopposed in NA-207 and PS-80 Dadu constituencies, respectively.

A total of 239 candidates are vying for seats in the forthcoming by-elections, with competition particularly fierce in constituencies such as NA-8 Bajaur, NA-44 Dera Ismail Khan-I, NA-119 Lahore-III, NA-132 Kasur-II, NA-196 Kamber Shadadkot-I, and NA-207 Shaheed Benazirabad-I.

Several constituencies fell vacant due to various reasons, including resignations and political maneuvers. Notably, the NA-44 seat became vacant after newly-elected KP Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur decided to retain his provincial seat from DI Khan, while NA-119 Lahore-III seat was vacated after Maryam Nawaz opted for a provincial seat. By-polls will also occur for provincial assembly seats across Punjab, KP, Balochistan, and Sindh.

These include constituencies like PP-22 Chakwal-Cum-Talagang, PP-32 Gujrat-VI, PP-36 Wazirabad-II, PP-54 Narowal-I, PP-93 Bhakkar-V, PP-139 Sheikhupura-IV, PP-147 Lahore-III, PP-149 Lahore-V, PP-158 Lahore-XIV, PP-164 Lahore-XX, PP-266 Rahim Yar Khan-XII, PP-290 Dera Ghazi Khan-V, PK-22 Bajaur-IV, PK-91 Kohat-II, PB-20 Khuzdar-III, PB-22 Lasbela, and PS-80 Dadu-I.

With campaigning officially concluded, the focus now shifts to the voters as they prepare to cast their ballots and shape the political lands.

Related posts