ECP demands army deployment for Local Govt elections in Sindh

KARACHI    –   With police remaining the only source of security for the local government elections, the Election Commission of Pakistan on Saturday insisted that the deployment of army and Rangers troops was crucial for effective measures and free and fair elections.

Addressing a press conference at his office, Sindh Election Commissioner Ijaz Chuhan said that no major untoward incident took place during the first phase of the LG elections in 14 districts on June 26 that were largely won by the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.

He also denied any impression of major violence during the polls, but at the same time also called for deployment of army and paramilitary forces in the second phase of the process when polling would be held in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions on July 24. He said the Election Commission, despite having limited resources carried out the massive exercise for over 10 million voters. It was only made possible through the cooperation of all the relevant institutions, he added.

“That’s why we call for cooperation and better coordination among the institutions. For free and fair elections we need support from all institutions. And that’s why we call for deployment of army and Rangers. We are again making requests for deployment of the army during the second phase of local government elections,” he said.

In the second phase, he said, polls would be held in seven districts — East, West, South, Central, Korangi, Keamari and Malir — of Karachi division and nine districts of Hyderabad division, which include Hyderabad, Dadu, Jamshoro, Matiari, Tando Muhammad Khan, Tando Alahyar, Badin, Sujawal and Thatta.

A total of 13,518 candidates would contest the polls for 5,043 seats during the second phase of the polls. The process would be executed through 172 returning officers and 16 district returning officers.

“The parties have been conveyed about the code of conduct and are requested to follow the set rules. If any individual violates the set rules, the law will take its course,” he added.

pec for ensuring ECP code of conduct during LG polls

Sindh Provincial Election Commissioner Ijaz Anwer Chuhan has directed the officers of departments concerned to chalk out comprehensive plan till July 15, 2022 and ensure strict implementation on code of conduct of Election Commission of Pakistan for conducting second-phase of Local Government elections in a free, fair and transparent manner which is scheduled to be conducted on July 24, 2022 in Hyderabad Division.

He issued such directives while presiding over a meeting here at Shahbaz Hall on Saturday regarding arrangements for local government elections 2022. Commissioner Nadeem-ur- Rehman Memon, Deputy Commissioners, Senior Superintendents of Police Directors of Education of all districts of Hyderabad Division, Commandants Qasim and Thar Rangers, Chief Engineer Education Works, District Returning Officers and Chief Executive Officer HESCO attended the meeting.

 The provincial Election Commissioner emphasised upon officers of all the concerned departments to ensure comprehensive arrangements in order to avert any untoward incidents during election’s day.

He directed the District Returning Officers, Deputy Commissioners and heads of law enforcement agencies to appoint focal persons to ensure coordination so that joint strategy could be prepared to deal with untoward incidents at polling stations during the polling process. He asked the officers concerned to make updated lists of highly sensitive and sensitive polling stations in every district so that deployment of Rangers and Police with other necessary arrangements could be made accordingly.

He emphasised upon the Presiding Officers to use their authority on the spot while dealing with any lawlessness in the polling stations. CCTV cameras should be installed in the premises of all polling stations along with all required facilities for uninterrupted and smooth polling process, he said, adding that transportation facilities should also be provided to polling staff. He called upon the Chief Executive Officer HESCO to ensure uninterrupted electric supply at polling stations to avoid any interruption in the polling process.

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