ECP warns candidates seeking symbol of other party of consequences.

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ISLAMABAD, The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Saturday warned candidates, who were members of one political party and were seeking allocation of symbol of other political party, of consequences.

“In exercise of powers, conferred upon the Commission under section 4 of the Election Act, 2017, the Commission hereby direct that no symbol of any political party be allocated to any such candidate who is member of one political party and seek allocation of symbol of other political party.”

The bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja and including members Nisar Ahmed Durrani, Shah Muhammad Jatoi, Babar Hassan Bharwana, and Justice (Retd) Ikram Ullah Khan also directed the ROs to reject all such applications proceeding strictly in accordance with law and in term of the direction of Apex Court.

The ECP observed that in accordance with the Election Act 2017, a candidate providing a party affiliation certificate could not be a member of more than one party simultaneously.

Emphasizing adherence to legal procedures, the Commission referred to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Habib Akram case.

Referring to section 66 of the Election Act, 2017, the ECP stated that “candidates who submit incomplete nomination papers, especially those omitting the required affidavit, will face rejection”.

The ECP also noted that it had received a multitude of applications from candidates, raising concerns about manipulation of the system, deception, and potential violations of electoral laws, and warned the candidates of “consequences for false statements in their nomination papers’ affidavits”.

Referring to the Supreme Court’s direction, the Commission said,”Misrepresentation is clearly defined in the Constitution and law. Misrepresentation in nomination papers equals misrepresentation before the Supreme Court, with candidates facing the same consequences as making false statements before the highest judicial authority.”