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October 12, 2018

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Whoever violates election laws to face jail: ECP

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday announced that anyone convening, holding or attending a public meeting or promoting or joining a procession in the constituency, where bye-elections are due on October 14, will face jail term up to two years or Rs0.1 million fine or both.

Through a statement, the Election Commission has drawn attention of contesting candidate for the bye-election to Section 182 of the Elections Act, 2017, which provides that no person shall convene, hold or attend any public meeting and no person shall promote or join in any procession within the area of a constituency during a period of 48 hours ending at midnight following the conclusion of the poll for an election in that constituency.

“Any person, who contravenes these provisions of the law shall be punishable with a jail term, which may extend to two years or rupees one hundred thousand fine or both,” the Election Commission said.

Accordingly, the Election Commission said the poll campaign for bye-election in the constituencies, where electoral exercise is to be conducted, shall come to and with effect from midnight falling between October 12 and October 13. The political parties are requested to follow the provisions of the law and exercise self-restraint so that the election is held in an orderly and peaceful manner on October 14.

In a related development, the Election Commission issued voter pass to overseas Pakistanis who had already been registered through I-voting for the October 14 bye-elections.

The Election Commission said the voter pass and passcodes had been sent through email. This is for the first time, the Election Commission will be making the overseas Pakistanis a part of the electoral exercise. With assistance from the National Database and Registration Authority, the Election Commission sent 7,364 registered overseas voters’ passcodes that would enable them to log in and cast their votes in the by-polls, slated for Sunday.

It has already been announced that the passcodes would be valid from 8am to 5pm Pakistan standard time. Polling will be held in 34 constituencies as in constituencies i.e. PP-294 and PP-87, candidates have returned unopposed hence, 55 overseas voters will not be exercising their voting right. A total of 7,419 people had got themselves registered as eligible voters for the I-voting website.

The Election Commission launched the overseas voting system on September 01 for by-elections in 37 constituencies for both national and provincial assembly seats: eleven National Assembly and 26 assemblies of provinces. The registration period lasted for 17 days.

On polling day, the registered overseas voters will log into the website using their credentials and enter the 'voter pass' [passcode] emailed to them by the Election Commission. This will direct the voter to their registered national and provincial assembly constituencies to enable them to cast the vote.

A website has been developed for this purpose, which provides guidance to a voter as well with regards to his related constituency and candidates. A designated list of candidates of the selected constituency will be displayed by the system and the voter shall select the election symbol of their candidate to cast their vote. Upon successful submission of the vote, a “confirmation” message will be displayed on the screen.

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