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PESHAWAR: The opposition parties in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa here on Saturday reached a consensus over fielding candidates in coming Senate Elections.

According to a statement issued here on Saturday, a meeting of leaders from opposition parties held in residence of PPP provincial president Hamayun Khan in which matters pertaining to upcoming Senate elections were discussed and made consensus on fielding candidates and devised a strategy to give tough time to ruling PTI in the elections.

From PML-N Abbas Afridi, Mian Alamgir Shah, while PPP Farhatullah Babar, Muhammad Ali Shah Bacha, Ahmad Karim Kundi, and JUI-F Maulana Lutufur Rehman, Mehmood Ahmad Batani, ANP Haji Hidayatullah Khan, Sardar Hussain Babar, while Jamaat-e-Islami Inayatullah Khan will be contested upcoming senate election under the Pakistan's Democratic Movement (PDM) platform, the meeting was told.

During the meeting, the Jamaat-e-Islami has announced support of PDM in the Senate elections. It was agreed that PML-N, JUI-F, ANP will contest the senate election on General seats, while PPP on technocrats, and JI on women seats from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The sources said that the PDM is fully optimistic about winning all five seats in Senate elections from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. According to the schedule, the polling for Senate elections will be held on March 3 to elect new members of the Upper House of the Parliament upon the retirement of 52 senators on March 11.

According to the provincial election commission, a total of 25 candidates ran for 12 seats from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including 11 for general seats, five each for the seats reserved for women and technocrats. Four contestants are flexing muscles for seats reserved for religious minorities.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday issued the code of conduct for the forthcoming Senate elections on March 3. The conduct for political parties, candidates, election agents, and polling agents was issued following a consultation with the parties, the electoral authority said. According to the code, the president of Pakistan and the governors won't take part in the campaign for the polls or use their residences for the purpose.

Political parties and the candidates will abide by the rules set for peaceful and organised polls. "No one will be allowed to speak against the state, its sovereignty, stability, or interest."

The concerned will also have to abstain from issuing statements that could harm the independent status of the judiciary, Parliament, or the military. The authority further restrained the concerned from any propaganda against Islam or the ideology of Pakistan. "All parties and the candidates will abstain from causing any harm to ECP's stature."

The communiqué added that those participating shall follow the directions issued from time to time, and avoid becoming part of any illegal or corrupt activity. "The candidates and their supporters may not seek or accept help of any sort from any official," ECP said and added, "No official shall promote a candidate nor impede the electoral process."

"The voters will not carry a cell phone or any other device that could capture an image of the ballot inside a polling station."

The code also made it mandatory for the candidates to use specific accounts in the designated banks for the electoral expenditure. All candidates shall submit the details of the expenses to the returning officers.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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