News Desk |
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued on Thursday a show-cause notice to Prime Minister Imran Khan for violation of the commission’s code of conduct by visiting Ghotki ahead of the by-election.
ECP has issued notice after the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) candidate in NA-205 Ghotki-II Abdul Bari Pitafi lodged a complaint against PM Khan, who visited the constituency to condole the death of former federal minister Sardar Ali Muhammad Khan Mahar. He passed away at the age of 52 on May 21.
In the complaint, Pitafi contended that PM Khan’s visit had come nine days after the ECP notified the July 18 by-election and almost a month after the death of the former federal minister for narcotics control. He said PM has violated election rules by visiting the constituency, requesting ECP to take action against PM and the federal ministers, as well as the election candidate from the Mahar family, over the visit.
The notice was issued after a petition was filed by a candidate running for Tehsil Council in Haripur, claiming that the PTI had announced rallies, to be headed by Imran Khan, in various parts of the province ahead of polls.
“Being a member of the parliament and holding the chair of the prime minister, you [Imran] were fully aware of the announcement schedule of the by-election … which requires that you cannot visit the constituency in any manner,” read the ECP’s notice.
The poll body has directed PM Khan to explain his position within a week of receiving the notice, further warning that disciplinary action could be taken against him if he fails to do so. The July 18 by-poll will witness a one-on-one contest between the PPP and the Grand Democratic Alliance candidate, Ahmed Ali Mahar, who is supported by the PTI.
ECP’s Notice to Khan for Violating Election Code of Conduct
This is not the first time ECP has issued a notice to PTI’s Imran Khan. Earlier in May 2018, ECP had issued notices to PTI chief to explain why he and his party had announced rallies just days ahead of local government elections in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
ECP had ordered PTI chief to appear in person on May 21, 2018, while directing PTI MNA and MPAs from indulging in acts that constitute pre-poll rigging and violation of the electoral body’s code of conduct.
The notice was issued after a petition was filed by a candidate running for Tehsil Council in Haripur, claiming that the PTI had announced rallies, to be headed by Imran Khan, in various parts of the province ahead of polls. Previously, ECP has issued several notices to Khan for allegedly violating the code of conduct.
ECP Accepts Imran’s Apology for Violating Secrecy of Ballot
Earlier, ECP had accepted Imran Khan’s apology for violating the secrecy of the ballot on election day and withdrew its notice against him — removing one hurdle from the PTI chairman’s path in taking oath as the prime minister.
On July 25, 2018, Khan had cast his vote at a polling station of NA-53 (Islamabad) where he defeated former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. TV footage showed Khan publicly stamping his ballot paper on the presiding officer’s table.