CHAKWAL -  District Returning Officer Khushal Zada has sent an election reference against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz winning candidate to the poll body for allegedly violating election code of conduct during PP-20 (Chakwal-I) by-polls.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf through a petition had alleged that PML-N candidate Sultan Haider held a public meeting on January 7 midnight — the cut off deadline for campaigning — which was also addressed by ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif who urged the voters to cast ballots in favour of his party candidate.

The district returning officer after hearing arguments from both sides held that according to section 182 of Election Act 2017, “no person could convene, hold or attend any meeting or promote or join in any procession within the area of a constituency during a period of 48 hours following the conclusion of the campaign for any election in that constituency”.

The district returning officer wrote in the order that for the visit of Sharif, a proper stage was arranged as it was evident from the media coverage and all that could have been avoided after the given deadline. “Hence the violation seems to have been committed on the part of the respondent, Haider Sultan, contesting candidate for by-election for arranging the gathering of the party workers of PML-N, addressed by Mian Nawaz Sharif, President PML-N, therefore the commission of violation of the code of conduct of election campaign and the rules and law was violated,”, said the order.

It further said that the case was forwarded to the election commission for a decision as may be deemed appropriate to issue the order on this reference as the matter did not fall under the preview of the district returning officer



Our Staff Reporter