ECP orders release of South Waziristan candidates, terms the arrests as pre-poll rigging

ISLAMABAD: Terming the detention of contesting candidates as tantamount to pre-poll rigging, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has ordered the deputy commissioner South Waziristan to release the two independent candidates contesting in the upcoming elections in tribal districts for provincial assembly seats. The independent candidates were arrested earlier this month.
ECP in a notification issued on Friday ordered the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to withdraw the detention orders issued against two independent candidates.
ECP said that the candidates were arrested after the election schedule was announced for KP Assembly seats in tribal districts, which is tantamount to pre-poll rigging and ordered the deputy commissioner of South Waziristan to release them within a day.
The two independent candidates – Muhammad Arif Wazir and Muhammad Iqbal Masood – are contesting from PK-113, South Waziristan-1 and PK-114, South Waziristan-1 respectively. They were arrested under Section 3 of the Maintenance of Public Order ordinance (power to arrest and detain suspected persons).
The elections for tribal areas are scheduled to take place on July 20.

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