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Elections 2024: ECP says electioneering to culminate on Feb 6 midnight

ISLAMABAD: As the electioneering for next month’s polls picks up pace, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has informed the candidates and political parties contesting the general elections 2024 that there will be no poll campaign after February 6 midnight.

“According to Section 182 of the Elections Act 2017, no person shall hold or participate in any public meeting, procession, corner meeting or such political activity after 12 midnight on February 6, 2024 and February 7, 2024,” The News reported quoted ECP’s spokesperson as saying.

“Therefore, legal action will be taken against any person who violates the above provision of the law,” the spokesperson added.

The polling is slated for February 8.

Meanwhile, caretaker Federal Minister for Communications Maritime Affairs and Railways Shahid Ashraf Tarar, who is the convener of the committee constituted by the prime minister to oversee the preparations for the general elections 2024, called on Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja at the Election Commission Secretariat in Islamabad to brief him on the preparations of the federal and provincial governments for elections.

Code of conduct for security personnel

Last week, the ECP issued its “Code of Conduct for Security Personnel”, warning them against bias while being on election duty.

The ECP’s protocol, which excludes the armed forces and civil armed forces, directs the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to perform their duties in accordance with the law and within the confines of the mandate assigned to the police.

Security personnel — who will provide security for the printing and transport of ballot papers along with the polling bags — will perform their duties under Article 220 of the Constitution of Pakistan, Section 5 read with Section 193 of the Election Act, 2017.

Directing the security apparatus to cooperate with district returning officers (DROs), returning officers (ROs) and presiding officers (POs), the electoral body has stressed the need for LEAs to “remain impartial and neutral throughout the election process […] and shall not act in favour of or against any political party or candidate in any manner whatsoever”.

Underscoring the significance of ensuring a peaceful and transparent polling process, the ECP has warned security personnel against disallowing a voter to cast his/her vote.