General elections in AJK on July 21

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CEC AJK bans promotions and transfers of government officers as well as announcement of new development schemes

The Azad Jammu and Kashmir chief election commissioner (CEC) on Monday announced the schedule for the 2016 general elections in Azad Kashmir.

He said the polling for the legislative assembly will be held on July 21, 2016.

Addressing a crowded press conference, Chief Election Commissioner Justice Ghulam Mustafa Mughal said that the constitutional tenure of the AJK Legislative Assembly expires on July 24. He said that under the constitution, it is mandatory to hold elections 60 days before the last date.

According to the CEC, candidates can file their nomination papers by June 16 while scrutiny of nomination papers will be held on June 17. He said appeals against acceptance or rejection of nominations would be received on June 22 and their hearing will be held on June 23 and 24. “Decisions on these appeals will be announced on June 25 and 26,” he added.

The CEC said that candidates could withdraw their nomination papers on June 27 and final list of candidates will be displayed on June 28, whereas election symbols will be allotted on June 29.

Justice Mughal said that there are 22,37,058 voters, 12,11,842 men and 10,25,216 women, in AJK’s ten districts. For refugees’ 12 constituencies, a total of 4,44,634 voters will be entitled to exercise their franchise right, he added.

In reply to a question, the CEC said new voters’ lists have been prepared with the cooperation of NADRA and bogus votes have been removed.

The CEC announced a complete ban on promotion, transfers of government employees, new schemes, and inauguration or foundation stone laying ceremonies of new development schemes.

“Elections will be held under the security of army and Rangers,” he said, and added, “A code of conduct for political parties and candidates has been issued”.  He said AJK elections will be held under the judiciary. However, he said, in 12 constituencies in Pakistan, the elections would be held under the supervision of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).