August 2005 News

Preliminary Preparations Afoot To Hold General Elections In AJK After July, 2006

11 August 2005
Associated Press of Pakistan

Mirpur: Preliminary preparations have been started to hold general elections in Azad Jammu Kashmir any time within sixty days after July 30 next year, in absolutely free, fair and transparent manner. Talking to APP here Thursday, this was disclosed by the Chief Election Commissioner of Azad Jammu Kashmir Mr. Justice Riaz Akhter Chaudhry. He said it has been decided in principle to hold the next elections to the AJK Legislative Assembly any time within stipulated 60 days period commencing from July 30, 2006. The CEC further revealed that the forthcoming AJK Legislative Assembly elections will be held on the basis of the existing electoral lists through making them updated for the purpose. He said that the services of all the law enforcing institutions including army will be obtained in order to hold the elections in free, fair and transparent manner. 'There will be complete ban on taking out processions, displaying of all sorts of arms including kalashnikov and any attempt of hooliganism or irregularities and rigging on the part of the candidates before and during the entire elections process', the CEC categorically said. He declared that the candidates found involved in violating the prohibitory orders will be disqualified from contesting the election. Mr. Justice Riaz Akhter Chaduhry continued that Azad Jammu Kashmir Legislative Assembly had, through an unanimously passed resolution, called for holding the next year elections to the AJK legislature on the basic of the old electoral lists. He said that the opinion of the heads and other responsible leaders of almost all the political parties of Azad Jammu Kashmir was invited and all of them, in writing as well as verbally, sought for holding of the elections on the basis of the old electoral lists by getting them updated, he added. The CEC said that the names of registered enlisted voters who have died or shifted and changed their residence permanently or declared bogus or invalid voter, will be deleted from the voters list. Whereas the names of the eligible voters, whom were not yet enlisted, will be included in the voters list, he declared. Mr. Justice Riaz Akhter Chaudhry said that updating the electoral lists is a regular process. He said that the Chief Election Commissioner and the Registration officer have the authority to make the electoral lists updated till the holding of the elections and till the announcement of the elections schedule respectively. The Chief Election Commissioner revealed that an intensive drive is being launched by the Election Commission to delete the names of fake, bogus and ineligible voters from the voters lists and for this purpose a monitoring cell is being set up in the Election Commission's office in the near future. Mr. Justice Riaz Akhter Chaudhry said that the Monitoring Cell will also monitor the performance of the Registration officers. 'Disciplinary action will be taken against the incapable employees besides against those found involved in any sort of negligence during performance of their professional duties', he warned. He said that all the public servants will be deputed for elections duty at any place under the law. Mr. Justice Riaz Akhter Chaudhry said that there will be no permission to hold procession, display arms or make firing by the candidates or their supporters during the election campaign as well as on the elections day. To a question, the CEC said that the each polling station will be kept confined for using the right of franchise only by at least five hundred voters. Justice Riaz Akhter Chaudhry said that the Election Commission will bring about every possible resources for ensuring the holding the elections in free, fair and transparent manner. To another question, he said that the voters shall have to produce any valid document for their identification including the national identity card, state subject or domicile certificate or passport at the polling station while casting their vote. The CEC said that the Election Tribunal will be established to hear the electoral objections after the elections which (election tribunal) will make the verdict within 90 days by completing hearing of the cases. To a question about exercise of the right of vote by the eligible overseas Kashmiri voters, Mr. Justice Riaz Akhter Chaudhry said that in view of some legal matters by the Governments of Britain and Pakistan to this effect, decision to this effect will be made later on, he added.


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