ECP bars PM Imran from visiting Lower Dir

PESHAWAR—The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday warned Prime Minister Imran Khan against flouting its code of conduct by visiting Lower Dir, which goes to the local bodies elections in March.

The election body warning came in response to reports that Imran Khan was going to address public rally and announces mega projects in Lower Dir on January 27.

In a former notification, the ECP said that the premier visit ahead of the 2nd phase of the Local Government election on 27 March will be a violation of the code of conduct. The Jama’at-e-Islam (JI) has already announced protest during the PM’s visit to the district.

The Election Commissioner Muhammad Iqbal Tanoli ordered Deputy Commissioner Lower Dir to take effective steps and stop Imran Khan’s rally. The election body has said that Imran Khan’s visit will influence the people right to vote on 27 March. Therefore, the ECP said, PM should avoid visiting the district as it will influence the voters.

The Election Commission has said, “It is against the ruler and regulation to announce and inaugurate any development project after the issuance of election schedule. The visit of the prime minister will be a violation of Rules 233 and 234.” On the other hand, JI has announced to convene an all-party conference tomorrow to launch full-scale protest against the primer visit.

Imran violates ECP code of conduct

Last year, before the first phase of LG election, the prime minister had ignored that ECP notification and paid visit to Peshawar. where he had inaugurated a health insurance programme in governor house. However, the  the ECP could not take any action against him.

According to the Election Commission, holding public rallies and announcing development schemes or running election campaign is a violation of election code of conduct, after the issuance of election schedule.

The ECP code of conduct says President, Prime Minister, Governor, Speaker, Deputy Speaker of any assembly Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Senate, Federal and Provincial Ministers, Chief Minister or lawmaker of national or provincial assemblies can’t hold a rally and announce development projects after election schedule.

Violators of the election Code of Conduct can be prosecuted under Sections 233 and 234 of the Election Act, said ECP.

The ECP, on Friday had took notice of the uplift work in Dera Ismail Khan ahead of local bodies election for the Dera mayor scheduled on February 13.

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