ECP facilitating transgenders in obtaining NIC, vote registration
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday issued the code of conduct for the forthcoming Senate elections on March 3.
The conduct for political parties, candidates, election agents, and polling agents was issued following a consultation with the parties, the electoral authority said.
According to the code, the president of Pakistan and the governors won’t take part in the campaign for the polls or use their residences for the purpose.
Political parties and the candidates will abide by the rules set for peaceful and organised polls. “No one will be allowed to speak against the state, its sovereignty, stability, or interest.”
The concerned will also have to abstain from issuing statements that could harm the independent status of the judiciary, Parliament, or the military.
The authority further restrained the concerned from any propaganda against Islam or the ideology of Pakistan. “All parties and the candidates will abstain from causing any harm to ECP’s stature.”
The communique added that those participating shall follow the directions issued from time to time, and avoid becoming part of any illegal or corrupt activity.
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“The candidates and their supporters may not seek or accept help of any sort from any official,” ECP said and added, “no official shall promote a candidate nor impede the electoral process.”
“The voters will not carry a cell phone or any other device that could capture an image of the ballot inside a polling station.”
The code also made it mandatory for the candidates to use specific accounts in the designated banks for the electoral expenditure. “All candidates shall submit the details of the expenses to the returning officers.
Separately, Sindh Provincial Election Commissioner Aijaz Anwar Chohan on Friday announced names of the candidates for Senate elections 2021.
Eighteen contenders from the province will be contesting for 12 of its share of seats in the upper house of the parliament polls, scheduled to be held next week. There are to be seven general seats besides two each under the categories of women and technocrats respectively.
As per the final list issued by the Sindh Election Commission, ten contestants for the seven general category seats include Taj Haider, Jam Mahtab Hussain Dahar, Dost Ali Jessar, Saleem Mandviwala, Shahadat Awan, Sheher Bano Rehman and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) lawmaker Sadiq Ali Memon, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf’s (PTI) Muhammad Faisal Vawda, Grand Democratic Alliance’s (GDA) Pir Sadruddin Shah and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) Syed Faisal Sabzwari.
PTI’s Saifullah Abro, PPPP’s Farooq Hamid Naek and Karim A. Khawaja besides Yasha Ullah Khan Afghan of Tehreek e Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) will contest for two of the seats under the technocrats category.
Whereas PPP candidates, Palwasha Mohammad Zai Khan and Rukhsana Parveen along with Khalida Ateeb from MQM-P are to be the contenders for two Women category seats during the forthcoming senate polls.
In an move to push forward with equal rights in the country, the Election Commission of Pakistan – which was aware problems being faced by transgenders, persons with disabilities, women and other neglected segments of the society in obtaining Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs) – has started taking steps to resolve their all problems.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Joint Provincial Election Commission Haroon Khan Shinwari expressed these views while addressing a function of transgender, person with disabilities and women rights’ activists known as Coalition for Inclusive Pakistan (CIP) on Friday in Peshawar.
He said that importance of participation of people from all sections of the society including transgenders, persons with disabilities and women in the political and electoral process could not be overlooked and urged political parties, civil societies and media to sensitize this issue and play their key role to ensure their participation in political and electoral process.
He maintained that the ECP had already directed provincial governments to install access ramps at polling stations to facilitate persons with disabilities.He added that the election commission was taking necessary steps to ensure participation of all segments of the society in forthcoming local body elections.
He informed the participants of the function that National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) and provincial social welfare department had been contacted to facilitate transgenders in obtaining NIC so that could be registered in the voters list.
Shinwari said that Under the Election Act 2017, it is the responsibility of the election eommission to include everyone in the voters’ list and provide a conducive environment for contesting elections.
He appealed all transgenders to obtains their CNICs and get themselves registered as voters in the election commission.