ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)on Friday decided not to deploy soldiers of Pakistan Army or Rangers in polling stations in the first phase of Local Government Elections being held in the 20 districts of Punjab and Sindh provinces on Saturday.
However, Army and Rangers would perform their duties as quick response force and patrol around sensitive polling stations, said Secretary Election Commission, Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad.
Talking to media, he said, the ECP has also empowered army and Rangers to assist civil administration for maintaining law and order situation for the conduct of peaceful and transparent elections.
Babar said the ECP also received complaints against the districts administration of Gujrat in Punjab and Shikarpur in Sindh for allegedly supporting their blue eyed candidates.
ECP has directed the chief secretaries of Punjab and Sindh to take notice of complaints in these districts and ensure free, fair and transparent elections and take action against the officials involved in this practice.
Inspector Generals of Police in Punjab and Sindh have also been asked to take action against the people who are violating ECP’s code of conduct and trying to harass the election staff, he added.
In reply to a question with regard to the late hour’s public meeting in Faisalabad despite lapse of the deadline, he said, ECP is considering the matter and has sought report from District Returning Officer.
The secretary informed that around 20,121,921 voters would use their right of franchise in LG elections of Punjab with 11,345,245 male voters among them and 8,776,676 female.
Babar added that 4,617,024 voters are registered in eight districts of Sindh with 2,524,682 male and 2,092,322 female voters.
ECP has also deputed around 155,000 election staff for conducting elections in 20 districts of Punjab and Sindh. He also informed that 707 candidates were elected unopposed in the first phase of local government elections.