ELECTION COMMISSION OF PAKISTAN
Islamabad, the 18th July, 2012.- The Hon’ble Acting Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan Mr. Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan today visited Multan to review the arrangements for conduct of bye-election in Constituency No. NA-151 Multan-IV. His lordship held meetings with the contesting candidates of the Constituency and heard their concerns about the arrangements regarding bye-election, with particular reference to the directive issued by the ECP pursuant to the Judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan passed in CP No. 87/2011, dated 8th June, 2012. During the aforesaid meeting, the candidates raised the following issues:
· It was suggested that prior to an election or a bye-election all contesting candidates should be provided with an opportunity on State Television to express their manifesto and views to the electorate;
· There are certain other areas of polling stations which are also situated at more distance than the areas where vehicles have been provided but no vehicle have been provided at those polling stations by ECP;
· Thousands of voters are missing from the voter’s list which had only single entries in the voter list;
· Voters having CNICs from Muzaffargarh district should not be allowed to cast their votes in the aforesaid constituency;
· Camps for providing water, food, etc. to the voters in this hot season should be allowed;
· Candidates should also be allowed to issue vote-slip (Perchi) to the voters on plain papers to facilitate them for casting vote;
· Voting and counting should be fair.
2. The Hon’ble Acting CEC explained that the restriction imposed by ECP through directive with regard to the election expenses and other election campaign activities are already existing in the Electoral Laws made by the Parliament and the Hon’ble Supreme
Court by its Judgment has just directed/emphasized to implement the same. Since this is the first bye-election after announcement of the judgment of the Apex Court the same is being implemented in this election. His lordship apprised the candidate that this practice will be implemented in the upcoming General Election. He also appreciated the services rendered by the local administration and the police and expressed his satisfaction over the arrangement so far made by them for the conduct of free, fair and transparent bye-election in the constituency.
3. Thereafter, the Hon’ble Acting CEC visited the centre for distribution of polling bags and collection of result and appreciated the arrangements made by the DRO/RO. He also examined the Election Information Management Centre established by the ECP in collaboration with UNDP on experimental basis for preparation and communication of bye-election result, his lordship also interacted with media and replies to their queries made with respect to the bye-election as well as upcoming General Election.