MUZAFFARABAD: General elections in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) would be held sometime in July this year, schedule and the code of conduct for which would be announced in June, the region’s constitutional electoral body announced here on Tuesday.
According to a spokesperson for the AJK Election Commission, an ‘action plan’ had been prepared for smooth conduct of polls.
Registration of political parties would be completed by May 15 while the voter lists would be published by the end of next month.
In the meanwhile, district returning officers (DROs), returning officers (ROs) and assistant returning officers (AROs) would also be appointed, he said, adding, the ROs and AROs would compile constituency wise polling schemes and present the same to the commission for approval.
Any person having grievances against the polling scheme could file an appeal before the DRO concerned in the first place and a second appeal against the DRO’s decision before the commission, the spokesperson said.
According to him, the final polling scheme would have to be published two weeks before the polling day.
In July, election symbols would be allotted to the candidates and ballot papers would be printed, in addition to finalization of security measures to ensure transparency and impartiality of elections, the spokesperson said without specifying an exact timeframe for this exercise.
Under the plan, he said, the appointment of polling staff by the ROs concerned would have to be done two weeks before the polling day.
The spokesperson further said the chief election commissioner would constitute election tribunals under the law in consultation with the AJK high court chief justice to take up election petitions in the wake of polling.
He told that delimitation of constituencies had been completed but since some petitions to this effect were pending in the high court, adjustments would be made in the light of the court decisions.
Published in Dawn, April 28th, 2021