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ISLAMABAD: Of the 2,412 candidates contesting the local government elections in Islamabad, 1,289 have been asked to give assurances that they will not engage in brawls or clashes, or create any law and order situation until election day.

Capital administration and police officials said the police also sent references against the 1,289 candidates to the assistant commissioner and magistrates, to take surety bonds from the candidates. The bonds were sought due to enmities and rivalries with opposing candidates contesting from the same constituency.

Only one case has been registered over a clash between candidates’ supporters in union council (UC) 41, they said, and a reference to disqualify the candidates was also sent to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

Capital police and administration also issued show cause notices to 22 candidates for violating the election’s code of conduct. They said that explanations were sought from them over the violations, which include display of weapons, use of loudspeakers and rising tensions in their constituencies.

They said that the notices were served to seek explanations, but further action, such as sending references to the ECP to disqualify them, will be decided keeping their responses in mind.

Candidates for chairman in UC 19 and 20 were warned of strict action for the use of loud speakers, officials said, and sound systems were also seized from the camp offices of 48 candidates.

Capital police also received details of the weapons that the candidates possessed, and asked them to submit them to their respective police stations, officials said. However, only 37 candidates have so far handed in their weapons, which included guns, pistols, a Kalashnikov, a revolver, a rifle and SMGs.

They said while police have details of weapons possessed by candidates, they have not been able to recover said weapons or force candidates to submit them, due to unavailability.

Some 23 cases have been registered against candidates and supporters for displaying weapons. 1,421 banners have also been removed, because they were displayed on government installations and safe city project structures, they said.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2015