NA-246 by-polls: Independent candidates insist upon code of conduct

Petitioners went to SHC to seek court orders on implementation of rules.


Our Correspondent March 30, 2015
They also demanded that the polling day should be declared a public holiday. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: The independent candidates on NA-246 constituency, in which by-polls are scheduled to be held on April 23, seek proper implementation of the code of conduct for the elections.

The candidates in the running for the National Assembly seat, Muhammad Atiq Qureshi and Pervez Ali, made this request in a petition filed with the high court on Monday. The petitioners, who named the election commission of Pakistan, the provincial election commission, the returning officer for NA-246 and others as respondents, said all the contesting candidates must be required to comply with the code of conduct.

Under Clause 9 of the Nomination Papers, the candidate has to mention the cost of the election campaign, as the minimum limit is Rs1.5 million. They apprehended that the expenses on the election campaign of candidates backed by political parties will exceed. The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had recently spent some Rs25 million on a single gathering in the constituency, the petition claimed.

They pleaded the court order the ECP to strictly implement the code of conduct for the by-polls. The petitioners also pointed out that the by-polls are being held before the completion of the 60 days since the seat fell vacant, as required under the Representation of Peoples Act, 1976.

They also demanded that the polling day should be declared a public holiday. A request was also made to declare the rescheduling of the Matric examination illegal and they should be held on the original dates.

Rejected candidate allowed

An election appellate tribunal, comprising justices Munib Akhtar and Nazar Akba, allowed an independent candidate, Advocate Ashraf Qureshi, to take part in the by-elections on NA-246. He had filed the appeal against the rejection of his nomination papers by the relevant returning officer during scrutiny on the ground that the person who recommended him was not a resident of the constituency.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2015. 

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