Arrangements afoot for holding of the election in free, fair and transparent manner on Nov. 24;


Altaf Hamid Rao,
119 polling stations to be set up in the constituency,

MIRPUR [AJK]:      A total of 119 polling stations would be set up to facilitate the registered voters to exercise their right of franchise to the scheduled Nov. 24 bye-election to the vacant seat of Azad Jammu Kashmir Legislative Assembly to Mirpur city constituency – LA -3.

The seat had fallen vacant following the disqualification of the law-maker and sitting minister in the incumbent PML [N]-led AJK government Chaudhry Muhammad Saeed by the Supreme Court of AJK in a contempt of court case on September. Saeed, the nominee of PML [N], was elected as member of AJK Legislative Assembly in July 2016 asse,n;u elections from the above constituency.

Azad Jammu Kashmir Election Commission had announced the schedule of holding of the bye election in the constituency to fill in the vacant seat of the State legislature.

Arrangements are afoot to hold the scheduled bye-election in the constituency in a free, fair and transparent manner and in a peaceful atmosphere.
The District administration here on Thursday reviewed the arrangements for holding of the polls in a peaceful atmosphere. Deputy Commissioner Raja Tahir Mumtaz chaired the meeting attended by SSP Mirpur Raja Irfan Salim and other senior magisterial and police officers including ADC [G] Raja Qaiser Auragzeb, Assistant Commissioner Yasir Riaz, ASP Syed Abbas Shah, Tehsildar Yasir Aftab Gardezi, Divisional Chief PID AJK Javed Malik, Naib Tehsildars Raja Asif Munir and Muhammad Imran Yousaf, city inspector Sardar Suhail Yousaf and others.

Addressing the meeting, the DC Tahir Mumtaz and SSP Irfan Salim said that the administration will perform all due responsibilities to ensure the holding of the scheduled election in absolutely free, fair and transparent manner. They said that fool proof security arrangements were being devised to ensure the maintenance of law and order situation before and during the polling.

The DC and SSP continued that extra police would be deployed in all eight zones of the constituency containing 18 sectors to facilitate the legitimate registered voters to cost the vote in entirely peaceful manner.

A total of 3 thousand police men would be deployed at a all 119 polling stations, including 18 at each sensitive police station and 20 at each extreme sensitive police station.

At least 15 candidates are in the run in the scheduled Nov. 24 scheduled bye-election. The candidates including the candidate of PTI AJK and former Prime Minister Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry and the candidate of PML (N) AJK Ch. Sohaib Saeed, who are considered to be the close contestants to each other in the polls.

PPP AJK and Jamaat e Islami AJK have not fielded their respective candidates in the elections. However PPP AJK has announced to support the PML [N] candidate in the election under an alleged deal between the local [AJK] top leadership of the two parties.

Meanwhile the AJK Election Commission sources told our AJK Correspondent Altaf Hamid Rao on Thursday that a code of conduct and ethics for the candidates and their supporters has been formulated to ensure the holding of the elections in absolutely, free, fair and transparent manner and in the peaceful way. The sources said that the candidates and their supporters as well as all other concerned persons shall have to strictly obey the code of conduct besides abiding by the rules and regulations before, on and after the polling day.

The sources said that the use of government vehicles and other public resources by the candidates and their supporters will be strictly prohibited for electioneering as well as on the polling day.
The sources declared that the visits of the AJK cabinet ministers, government advisors and members of the Legislative Assembly to the polling stations on the polling day have also been prohibited except those who tend to use their vote in the bye-polls in the constituency if any.

The entire ongoing phase of the bye-polls process is going absolutely peaceful because of the strict observance of the prohibitory orders and ban imposed on the orders of the Election Commission of Azad Jammu & Kashmir on using, displaying or keeping in possession the arms by the candidates and their supporters during the bye elections in the stipulated radius of Mirpur city constituency and the district.

Meanwhile, the exemplary peace was being witnessed first ever in the electoral history of Azad Jammu Kashmir when the candidates and their supporters were found launching their election campaign in absolutely peaceful manner by holding corner meetings within the four-walled premises in the constituency in line with the stipulated electoral rules and regulations.