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Nawaz Sharif’s brother Shehbaz barred from campaigning for assembly by-election

The by-election is for the seat left vacant because of Nawaz Sharif’s disqualification.

world Updated: Aug 03, 2017 15:01 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service, Islamabad
Election Commission of Pakistan,Pakistan,Shehbaz Sharif
Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif , current chief minister of Punjab province and brother of Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, addresses the media after appearing before the anti-corruption commission at the Federal Judicial Academy in Islamabad on June 17, 2017. (AFP)

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has barred Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif from taking part in his own poll campaign for a by-election to a National Assembly seat left vacant after the disqualification of his elder brother and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The ECP code of conduct barred constitutional dignitaries, including the President, the Prime Minister, chairman and deputy chairman senate as well as provincial Chief Ministers from visiting the area of any constituency that is going to polls, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The code of conduct came into effect immediately after the ECP announced the election schedule for Lahore National Assembly seat (NA-120). The polling for the seat will be held on September 17, the report said.

The ECP warned that legal action would be taken against any individual found in violation of the rules.

Political observers in Pakistan called the ECP code of conduct “confusing” and wondered how the holder of a public office could be barred from taking part in his own election campaign even though the law permitted a legislator to contest election for another house without tendering resignation.

A senior official of the ECP said a clear picture would emerge after the submission of nomination papers by Shehbaz Sharif for the by-election to NA-120.

“This is a unique situation because if the Chief Minister of Punjab files nomination papers, he will not be campaigning for somebody else but for himself and this right can in no way be taken away from him.”

The ECP also told candidates that their election expenses should not exceed Rs 1.5 million and they must use a dedicated account for all transactions related to poll expenses.

First Published: Aug 03, 2017 15:01 IST