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LANDI KOTAL: The returning officers for two National Assembly seats in Khyber region have informed the candidates about the code of conduct set by Election Commission of Pakistan for smooth, peaceful and fair conduct of the upcoming general elections.

Both the returning officers held meetings with the candidates in Jamrud and Bara.

The candidates were told to refrain from holding public meetings in the open and instead arrange such gatherings inside walled compounds for which they were required to inform the local administration three days in advance.

The officials, however, assured the candidates of full security during their election campaign and public meetings but warned them against carrying of any type of firearms by their supporters.

The candidates would face legal action if they were found guilty of purchasing votes or creating law and order situation. The ECP would declare the election null and void if less than 10 per cent women votes were cast in any constituency.

The candidates were warned of strict disciplinary action under election rules if they were found violating terms and conditions and code of conduct during their election campaign. They were warned against hoisting of their flags or pasting of their poster on private properties of their rival candidates or their supporters against their wish and also on government buildings.

“The candidates should also refrain from printing Kalma Tayyaba or other Quranic verses on their flags, posters and banners. They should also observe strictly the size of banners and posters prescribed by ECP,” the officials said.

The candidates were asked to refrain from holding public meetings at congested public places or blocking the main roads during their election campaign.

A total of 72 candidates are contesting elections from the two National Assembly constituencies in Khyber with 50 have their nomination papers cleared by the returning officers from NA-44 and 22 from NA-43.

Meanwhile, the returning officer for NA-44, Asmatuulah Wazir, who is also assistant commissioner, has declared 210 polling stations ‘very sensitive’ and 184 ‘sensitive’ for the coming general elections.

Published in Dawn, June 25th, 2018