Lahore - Punjab Election Commissioner Saeed Gul has said that implementation on code of conduct will be ensured during oncoming by-polls in 20 constituencies of the provincial assembly.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, he said that after scrutiny of nomination papers, 307 candidates were contesting for 20 constituencies of Punjab Assembly where by-polls will be held on July 17.

He said that the final list of candidates along with the election symbols for by-polls would be displayed on June 24. “Almost 4.5 million voters will exercise their right to vote in the by-election.”

Gul said that the Election Commission would ensure implementation of the code of conduct for transparent elections. He said that the monitoring teams had been constituted to ensure implementation and these would be headed by the district monitoring officers. These teams were sending reports to the Election Commission on a daily basis, he added.

He said that the district monitoring officer could impose a fine over violation of code of conduct and the matter would be referred to the commission if several violations were committed. He highlighted that monitoring teams had been advised to work without pressure and perform their duties according to law.

He regretted that some political circles were creating doubts on new electoral lists which would be finalized in August 2022. The provincial election commissioner said that according to law, the commission would use already available final electoral lists in the by-polls, whereas their delimitation would also be held. “There is no question of use of new electoral lists in these 20 constituencies as new electoral lists would be finalized in August 2022,” he declared.

To a question about transfer of votes in new electoral lists, Gul said that the voters were enrolled at the addresses of their choice in the electoral lists used in 2018-general elections, and it was given protection in the 2017 Election Act.

He said that as per law, after door-to-door verification in 2021, the voters were enrolled at their permanent or temporary addresses mentioned in their computerised national identity cards. He advised people to visit nearest display centres for redressal of their complaints.

COURT EXEMPTS PM SHEHBAZ, CM HAMZA FROM PERSONAL APPEARANCE

An accountability court on Wednesday exempted Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz from personal appearance for one-day in a reference, filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Accountability Court Judge Naseem Ahmad Virk conducted the reference proceedings. A legal team, on behalf of the prime minister and Punjab chief minister, submitted exemption applications. The court was apprised that the prime minister could not appear in the court due to his engagements in Islamabad whereas Hamza Shehbaz was busy in the provincial assembly budget session. The court was requested to exempt both in view of their engagements.

The court allowed the exemption pleas of the applicants. It also recorded statements of five bank officers, who presented the bank accounts record of the premier, chief minister and others.

A counsel for Shehbaz Sharif also completed cross examination from Bank Officer Adnan Hameed. Subsequently, the court adjourned proceedings till July 1 and summoned the other bank officers on the next date of hearing