Election Watch Update - April 4

Note: A complete list of candidates is being updated around the clock based on nominations filed by candidates and released by the ECP, as well as official lists of candidates released by political parties. It is available here.

PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and President Asif Ali Zardari spoke at an event marking party founder and the late former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s death anniversary early this morning. Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari praised his father, and asked for party supporters to vote for his party candidates, including his aunt Faryal Talpur. The PPP cancelled plans for a large event, which is traditionally held on Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s death anniversary. Bilawal has also asked for a review of tickets given for 64 constituencies.

The ECP is adding a ‘none of the above’ option on ballot papers to allow voters to register their lack of support for any of the candidates in a constituency.

Returning officers have asked potential candidates to recite specific prayers, spell words and made sexist remarks about the impact winning an election would have for women.

The Express Tribune profiles the NA-47 Tribal Area-XII constituency, as well as female candidates contesting elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the candidates they’re up against. Badam Zari, one of the candidates, has started her election campaign in Bajaur. Candidates for the NA-41 Tribal Area-VI constituency in South Waziristan have reportedly been summoned by the Mullah Nazir-led faction of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan for a meeting. Dawn looks at the challenges that the ANP and the PPP will face in campaigning in North and South Waziristan.

Jamshed Dasti, who was expected to contest elections against Hina Rabbani Khar and defend his National Assembly seat in Muzaffargarh, has announced he will not be running. Dasti is facing a court case over allegations that he submitted a falsified educational degree when contesting elections in 2008.

A new report [PDF] by the British Council Pakistan looks at the youth vote in Pakistan, as well as what direction Pakistan’s young citizens feel the country is, and should be going in.

The PML-N is looking to win 56 of 68 National Assembly seats in central Punjab.

The ECP has approved a code of conduct for the media.