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Pakistan: Ahead of Punjab bypolls, SC prevents govt from undertaking transfers of officials

ANI | Updated: Jul 03, 2022 16:57 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], July 3 (ANI): Ahead of by-elections in Pakistan's Punjab province, the Supreme Court has prevented the provincial government from undertaking transfers and postings of officials of the local administration, police and Election Commission.
A written order regarding the re-elections of the Chief Minister of Punjab was issued by a three-member bench headed by CJ Umer Ata Bandial on Saturday, The News International reported.
The court had previously said that the re-elections in the province will be conducted on July 22 after it rejected the petition of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) challenging the order of the Lahore High Court (LHC).
"No transfers or postings of officials of the local administration, police, Provincial Election Commission, etc shall be undertaken in order to ensure fairness and transparency of the election except in accordance with specific provisions of the Election Act, 2017 and the code of conduct to meet emergency situations," the order read.
As per the court order, no fresh development schemes and financial allocations shall be made in constituencies where the by-election is yet to be held, The News International reported.
The written order also stated the Election Commission of Pakistan shall take appropriate action in accordance with the law in case of violation.
The order further mentioned that the second poll for the Punjab CM election will be held at 4 PM in the assembly.

"The session in which such poll takes place will be chaired by the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly," it said adding that a formal notification should be issued by the speaker within one week from today after all legal and procedural formalities are carried out.
This comes after the Lahore High Court's (LHC) decision to recount the votes polled during the April 16 election for the post of the provincial chief executive.
The LHC had ruled to re-count the votes excluding those polled by 25 PTI dissidents.
Hamza was elected as Chief Minister of Punjab in a ruckus-marred session of the Punjab Assembly on April 16, 2022.
The PTI and PML-Q had challenged the election of Hamza Shahbaz in a chaotic session, reported The News International.
At the time of the election for the CM's seat, 351 members will vote, with the remaining 20 members joining the assembly after the by-elections.
At present, the government alliance enjoys the support of 177 MPAs, including 160 of the PML-N (160), four independents, one Rah-e-Haq Party and seven of the PPP.
On the other hand, the PTI has 158 MPAs in the Punjab Assembly after 25 of its MPAs were de-seated. Hence, the results of the by-elections will decide the future of both alliances. (ANI)