ECP issues PM Khan show-cause notice for visiting Ghotki ahead of July 18 by-poll

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) late on Wednesday issued a show-cause notice to Prime Minister Imran Khan for visiting Ghotki ahead of the NA-205 by-election next month.

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PM visited Ghotki on Wednesday to condole the death of federal minister for narcotics control Ali Mohammad Mahar. It was Mahar’s death which had required the by-poll for the NA-205 seat. By-elections on the seat are scheduled to take place on July 18.

While in Ghotki, the Premier assured the Maher brothers that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) would not be allowed to rig a by-election and that he would issue directives to the authorities concerned to ensure that.

A complaint against the visit was registered by Abdul Bari Pitafi, a candidate from the constituency, according to the letter issued by the ECP.

The candidate pointed out that Premier’s visit to Ghotki was in violation with the ECP code of conduct as the schedule for the by-election has already been notified.

In the show-cause notice, PM Khan has been given one week to submit a reply in the matter.

According to Para 17(b) of the ECP code of conduct, no member of parliament can visit a constituency where by-elections are scheduled after the dates for the election have been notified.

Earlier on Wednesday, PPP Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar also accused PM of violating the ECP rules. Khokhar, PPP chairman’s spokesperson, had said in a statement, “the visit of the prime minister to National Assembly’s constituency 205 is rigging.”

He said, “if the Election Commission wants to protect its image from further deterioration, it should take action over the violation,” urging the ECP to take notice of what he called “interference” of the prime minister and federal ministers in election affairs.

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