Islamabad (July 11, 2018): Caretaker Minister for Defence, Lt General retired Naeem Khalid Lodhi says all the heads of national institutions including Chief of Army Staff, Chief Justice of Pakistan and Chief Election Commissioner, wanted to hold free, fair and transparent elections in the country.
In his statement, Lodhi said the institutional heads want to conduct elections on stipulated timeframe across the country.
He said international media observers have reached in the country for monitoring of the upcoming general election process.
Lodhi said the government is fully determined to ensure election on July 25 in all circumstances.
He said people and political parties are also responsible to make the election a success in the country.ECP Awards Magistrate Powers to Personnel Deployed on PS:
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has awarded the magistrate powers to military personnel, who would be deployed on different polling stations during the polling.
According to ECP notification, the armed forces personnel, who will perform duty on polling stations will be given the powers of first class magistrate.
“The incharge of the armed forces personnel deployed on polling station can sentence the violator on the occasion as forces personnel will be bound to inform the presiding officer if any wrongdoing was witnessed during the poll,” it said.The notification also stated that if the presiding officer would not take action on personnel complaint, then they will inform their senior officials in this connection.
The armed forces personnel will be deployed on polling stations from July 23 to 27.
Election Commission Suspends Local Governments Till July 25:
All local government functionaries throughout the country have been suspended by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) till July 25 to ensure that the general elections are held in an ‘honest, just and fair’ manner.
The election watchdog has been tasked to make arrangements necessary to ensure that the “election is conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with the law and that corrupt practices are guarded against,” said a notification issued by the ECP on Tuesday.
The decision has been taken “to prevent any action on the part of the local government institutions that amounts to influence the results of upcoming general elections by depriving candidates of having the level playing field,” it added.The announcement was made hours after representatives of political parties expressed reservations over unnecessary restrictions imposed by the ECP and caretaker government regarding their election campaigns.
They were speaking at an all parties’ conference, organised by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in Karachi.
General elections are set to be held across Pakistan on July 25.
Moreover, the ECP issued a notification today stating that the army officials deployed for polling duty have been given powers of a first-class magistrate.