ECP halts recruitments to NA ahead of polls

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ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE: As the time for the general elections draws closer, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued a directive to the National Assembly to cease all recruitment activities.

In a letter addressed to NA secretary on Monday, the ECP instructed the secretariat to refrain from carrying out any recruitment and emphasised that it was the responsibility of the electoral watchdog to ensure a fair and transparent election process.

In its efforts to guarantee fair play for all candidates and political parties in the upcoming general elections, the ECP has already instructed interim governments at both the federal and provincial levels.

Ahead of the elections slated to be held in January 2024, the commission seeks to create a level playing field by maintaining impartiality throughout the election process.

The notification from the ECP has also placed a ban on transfers and postings of public officers without obtaining prior written approval, in accordance with the Election Act of 2017.

Furthermore, the ECP has imposed a complete ban on all forms of recruitment within federal, provincial, and local government ministries, divisions, departments, or institutions.

The only exception to this ban is if prior approval is obtained from the commission.

‘Satisfied with Punjab govt’s measures for fair polls’

In a parallel development, an important meeting was held between the Punjab government and the ECP to discuss the arrangements for the upcoming general elections in Punjab.

The meeting, held at the Chief Minister House, was chaired by Chief Minister Punjab Mohsin Naqvi and Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja.

The meeting, attended by members of the ECP from all four provinces as well as the Punjab cabinet, reviewed the arrangements made by the commission and the preparations undertaken by the Punjab government for the general elections.

A detailed briefing was provided on the security measures implemented to ensure smooth proceedings during the election process. The caretaker Punjab government and the ECP expressed their commitment to ensure peaceful, free, and fair conduct of the general elections.

During the meeting, it was decided that the caretaker Punjab government would appoint a dedicated focal person to coordinate with the ECP.

The CEC emphasised the importance of collective effort in ensuring a fair and transparent election. He assured that the commission will extend full support to the Punjab government to ensure free and fair elections.

He further informed that the phase of delimitation of constituencies will be completed by November 30, setting the stage for the general elections. He reiterated the readiness of the commission to conduct transparent, free, and fair elections.

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