Election Watch Update - April 12

Attacks on candidates contesting the elections continue in Pakistan. MQM candidate Fakhrul Islam, nominated for a National and Sindh Assembly seat, was shot dead in Hyderabad on Thursday, and the ANP’s Arbab Ayub Jan escaped an attack in Peshawar when his vehicle passed moments before explosives planted on a bicycle nearby detonated.

Internally displaced people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas will be voting at food distribution points. Over 100,000 families have been displaced because of military operations in FATA.

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazlur Rehman) has launched its election manifesto.

The ECP has asked the Sindh government to transfer 65 bureaucrats – including police officers - with overt political leanings for the PPP and other parties that were part of the 2008-2013 government in the province.

A new system has been developed that uses Android applications to monitor violations of the ECP’s code of conduct for the elections

The PML-F and PML-N led alliance in Sindh has started finalizing candidates from 10 parties within its ranks.

The PML-N is set to announce its candidates for Punjab by April 16, two days before the ECP’s deadline to withdraw candidacy. The party has been deliberating candidates for several weeks now while potential nominees been protesting and infighting

The PPP and the PML-Q have reportedly finalized a seat adjustment deal, which involves agreements on 100 National Assembly seats, where the parties will either support the other’s candidate or field a relatively weaker nominee to clear the way for the other.

While the ECP has said that it would not be able to arrange for overseas Pakistanis to vote in this year’s elections, the PTI’s Imran Khan has asked the Chief Election Commissioner and the Supreme Court Chief Justice to intervene. The court has been hearing this issue based on an application filed by Khan. The Supreme Court called on Thursday for an ordinance to be issued in 10 days on the issue, to make the process of Pakistanis voting abroad legal.

Dawn looks at the much-touted ‘youth vote’ in this year’s elections.