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Candidates violating election code of conduct

Candidates violating election code of conduct

MINGORA: Local people have complained about violation of code of conduct by the candidates for the local government elections.

According to residents, the contesting candidates are violating the code of conduct by hoisting and fixing their banners and doing wall chalking.

“When I came to open my shop in the morning, I found large banners fixed on the door of my shop. They also painted front of my shop,” said Akbar Ali, a shopkeeper in Mingora bazaar.

The residents also complained that the contesting candidates and their supporters didn’t care about any public or private property, and fixed posters and banners wherever they found space.

“I spent a huge amount on painting my house recently, but all the walls have been disfigured with posters pasted by poll candidates,” said Shafiullah, a resident of Amankot. He accused the authorities of giving the candidates a free hand in the excessive use of wall chalking and hoisting banners.

People said that the candidates were following the footprints of those contested in the last general elections. “The candidates are openly violating the code of conduct issued by the election commission, but no action has been taken so far against them which is strange,” questioned Riaz Ali, a social activist in Mingora.

People said the candidates must take permission to use public and private properties for their advertisement. They said the candidates were breaching the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Local Government Act, 2013.

“The candidates conduct the public gatherings till late night, which creates much disturbance for us. Daily, we have two to three meetings in our surroundings which have made our lives a hell,” Farooq Khan, a resident of Saidu Sharif, told Dawn.

When contacted, an official at the district election commission office told Dawn that a proper code of conduct had been issued regarding election campaigns and that strict action would be taken against those who violated it.

Meanwhile, the District Magistrate Swat Mahmood Aslam Wazir under section 144 has imposed ban on holding of public meetings by the candidates anywhere in the district without prior permission of the district administration.

Published in Dawn, May 19th, 2015

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