Election Watch Update - Feb 20

Mehmood Khan Achakzai is no longer a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz candidate for the caretaker prime minister position. According to the Express Tribune, Baloch nationalist parties had objected to his candidacy. The party says retired judge Nasir Aslam Zahid is still a candidate.

The Pakistan Army reportedly sent a Rs50 million bill to the Election Commission of Pakistan for assisting it in the voter verification drive. The ECP has sent the bill back to the army, objecting that it has included expenses that were not agreed with the ECP.

The Pakistan Peoples Party has asked party members to submit applications for election tickets by March 10.

The Election Commission of Pakistan will decide today on whether it will increase the period to scrutinize candidates to 30 days. A parliamentary committee has recommended it should be 14 days.

Twenty-seven new election symbols have been approved, including bangles, a tortoise, a pressure cooker and a kangaroo.

The Free and Fair Election Network has reported rigging in the by-elections in Sindh and Punjab on February 18.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairperson Imran Khan said that terrorist attacks are a conspiracy to delay elections.

Changes in the declaration and oath for elections mean that candidates have to provide additional information including:

  • income and agricultural tax returns for the past three years
  • agricultural land owned
  • details of children studying abroad, their education and travel expenses, a copy of the passport used by the children
  • location, description, built-up area and market value of the house or apartment in which they are living
  • names of spouse and dependents
  • statement that no foreign citizenship was acquired
  • contribution made to an existing constituency
  • amount paid to political party to gain a ticket
  • charitable donations
  • value of total assets, expenditure and mortgages

Commentary:

Mohammad Ziauddin says the internal Election Commission of Pakistan bureaucracy is creating hurdles for the next elections and the commission’s work. – The Express Tribune