General

ECP issues code of conduct for Senate polls

In order to ensure free and fair polling in the Senate elections tomorrow, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued a code of conduct on Friday, violation of which will lead to a fine of up till Rs100,000 and jail term of up to two years.
According to the code of conduct, no one would be allowed to carry mobile phones in the polling stations i.e. assembly buildings, while the assembly members would only be allowed inside if they will be carrying their secretariat cards.
Moreover, the code of conduct also asks the MNAs and MPAs to ensure the secrecy of their votes.
They have also been asked to handle the ballot paper with care so as to not spoil it.
Action would be taken against anyone using a fake ballot paper; while there will be a complete ban on taking it outside the polling station, the ECP has stated.
According to ECP, the returning officer would be given the authority of a level one magistrate under which he or she would be able to announce a punishment immediately after carrying out a summary trial against the violators.
The returning officer would also have the authority to cancel a ballot paper and immediately announce a punishment if it is being handed to an unauthorised person.
The punishment for violating the code of conduct includes a fine of up to Rs100,000 and/or a jail term between six months and two years.
On the suggestion of returning officers, Rangers and Frontier Constabulary personnel will be deployed outside the assemblies.