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Bilawal, PTI ministers violated election rules: G-B CEC


ISLAMABAD:

The Gilgit-Baltistan chief election commissioner on Wednesday maintained that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as well as federal ministers Murad Saeed and Ali Amin Gandapur of the PTI had violated the code of conduct for the upcoming polls in the region while participating in their parties’ campaigns.

“The commission has so far issued 95 show-cause notices to PPP, PTI, PML-N and other political parties for violating the code of conduct,” Raja Shehbaz Khan said at a news conference in Islamabad.

The election commissioner added the body would continue issuing notices to the violators and initiate proceedings against them as per the law.

“We will not deviate from the Election Act and ensure fair, free and transparent elections in the region,” said Khan, rejecting rumours of pre-poll rigging in the G-B elections scheduled to be held on November 15.

Speaking about the steps taken to facilitate voters, Khan said the commission had offered online services.

 He added that all parties conferences were held thrice for a comprehensive discussion on adopting precautionary measures against the coronavirus pandemic and ensuring fair and transparent elections. He added that rules were also formulated with consensus. A control room has also been set up for the announcement of the results.

The commissioner reiterated that army would not be deployed for the polls.

“Only police, Rangers, and FC personnel will be present for security.”

Earlier, the G-B government had demanded 11,000 additional security personnel from the federation and provinces for election security.

 G-B Chief Secretary Capt (retd) Khurram Agha told reporters that 1,141 polling stations were set up across G-B, of which 297 were declared highly sensitive and 280 sensitive.

The PPP chairman has been in G-B for over a week, addressing rallies and corner meetings.

Addressing a gathering in Skardu on Tuesday, Bilawal said he would stay in the G-B till November 15 and celebrate the party’s victory in the elections with the people of the region.

He had earlier warned that his party would march on Islamabad if the polls in G-B were rigged.

PPP leaders have criticised federal minister Ali Amin Gandapur for announcing development projects in the region before the elections.

Similarly, the party has also maintained that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s announcement that G-B would be given the status of a provisional province ahead of the elections was illegal.

The prime minister addressed an Azadi Parade in G-B on the occasion of its 73rd Independence Day celebrations on Nov 1 where he made the announcement.

However, the G-B chief election commissioner dismissed criticism over PM Imran Khan attending the gathering.

He maintained that the premier had participated in the Independence Day celebrations of G-B and it was “not a political gathering”. He added that action would be taken against violations of election rules, if they happened.



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