LAHORE: The Election Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday took notice of social media reports of vote-buying attempts by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) candidate and a car rally taken out by a Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) contestant without permission of the relevant authority for the by-election in the provincial assembly’s constituency PP-217, Multan-VII.

District Monitoring Officer Haider Riaz directed an assistant commissioner and other monitoring team members to immediately investigate the reports that PML-N nominee Salman Naeem was indulging in vote-buying activities by offering one motorcycle for each 20 votes. “It has come to the notice of the undersigned through social media that contesting candidate Mr Salman Naeem is indulging in corrupt practices in the constituency PP-217, Multan-VII,” DMO Riaz said in a communiqué to the assistant commissioner and the monitoring officer for PP-217.

He quoted social media as saying that Mr Naeem was trying to solicit votes by offering one motorcycle for a promise of 20 votes. “It is to be noted that such a practice is regarded as corrupt practice and urgent inquiry in the matter is required,” he added.

DMO Riaz also issued a notice to TLP candidate for the same constituency PP-217, Zahid Hameed Gujjar, for taking out a car rally without permission from the authority concerned. The officer summoned Mr Gujjar for clarification on Wednesday (today), informing him that as per election code of conduct prior permission of the district administration is required for a candidate to take out rallies and/or hold public meetings.

Also, the DMO for Muzaffargarh took notice of firing in the air apparently by the supporters of a candidate in PP-273.

The officer directed Muzaffargarh district police officer and deputy commissioner to arrest the suspects immediately and sought a detailed report from them.

Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2022

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