The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has vowed to protect secrecy of ballot in the by-election for Karachi’s NA-246 constituency slated for April 23.
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Giving details of the decisions made during the ECP secretary’s recent visit to Karachi in connection with arrangements for the by-election, an official of the commission said a decision had already been taken to install surveillance cameras at polling stations.
He said surveillance cameras would be allowed to be installed in a manner that secrecy and sanctity of vote was not compromised. He said there would be a ban on voters to carry mobile phones inside polling stations and action would be taken against those violating the restriction. He said that district returning officer, returning officer and presiding officers would be enjoying powers of the first class magistrate for summary trial of those violating the law. He said Rangers would be deployed in and outside all polling stations.
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It was also decided that all agencies would coordinate with each other in letter and spirit. He said K-Electric had been told not to implement its loadshedding schedule on the polling day, especially at the time of the counting of votes. Presiding officers have been directed to reach their polling stations a day before the start of the election. The district administration will provide logistic and administrative support to the polling staff. The official said an even handed approach would be adopted in dealing with the contesting candidates and parties.