Kurram by-polls: ECP reserves verdict in code of conduct violation case

Our Correspondent
Thursday, Nov 24, 2022

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Wednesday reserved its decision on the alleged violation of code of conduct by PTI Chairman Imran Khan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister Muhammad Iqbal Wazir during the by-election campaign in NA-45 Kurram.

The NA-45 seat, along with others, had fallen vacant after PTI legislators resigned en masse from the National Assembly (NA) following the ouster of former premier Imran Khan through a no-confidence vote in April.

However, PTI managed to win the seat again convincingly in the by-polls, but the concerned district monitoring officer (DMO) issued a notice to the PTI chief over the alleged poll code violation while campaigning for the by-election.

The DMO served the notice on Imran stating that he had solicited and utilised the assistance from Minister for Relief, Rehabilitation and Settlement Muhammad Iqbal Wazir during the by-poll campaign, which is tantamount to violation of para-8 of the code of conduct issued by the Election Commission.

During the hearing on Wednesday, the ECP special secretary stated the government vehicles were used during the campaign, adding that Imran had violated the code during the previous poll process as well. He also called for strict action against the KP minister for attempting to incite public anger against the ECP through micro-blogging website Twitter.

The PTI lawyer claimed people may have reservations regarding the Election Commission, hence the tweets shouldn’t be taken seriously.

The chief election commissioner argued that no one could be allowed to disrespect the Election Commission, adding, the behaviour is unacceptable. The lawyer claimed that they had not violated the code of conduct.

Meanwhile, the three-member ECP bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner took up the show-cause notice issued to the PTI in the foreign funding case after a gap of several weeks. PTI assistant counsel, who appeared on behalf of senior counsel, Anwar Mansoor, told the ECP bench that the senior counsel was out of the country and would be back on November 29, and requested to adjourn the hearing accordingly.

Conceding to PTI lawyer’s request, the ECP bench adjourned the hearing till December 13.