ECP directs ROs to refrain from ‘irrelevant’ quizzing of candidates

ECP directs ROs to refrain from ‘irrelevant’ quizzing of candidates

ISLAMABAD, (SANA): In a belated attempt to ward off criticism on the Returning Officers’ controversial questioning of candidates during scrutiny of nomination papers, the Election Commission of Pakistan has directed the ROs to refrain from ‘irrelevant’ quizzing of the nominees, ECP’s Director General Sher Afgan told reporters in Islamabad. Election Commission of Pakistan has written a letter to the four provincial governments to implement the interim decision of the Lahore High Court regarding questioning by the Returning Officers to the contesting candidates for the national and provincial assembly elections. Election Commission has asked the Returning Officers throughout the country to stop asking irrelevant questions during the scrutiny of the nomination papers of candidates. DG Election Commission Sher Afgan told media that the electoral body issued directives to the Returning Officers to avoid asking unnecessary questions from the candidates. Earlier on Friday, The Lahore High Court had also issued same instructions the ROs and said they could raise questions on the information provided by the candidates in their nominations papers. The nature of questions being asked by returning officers has attracted severe criticism from media, rights activists and political parties. However, the methodology was being defended until Friday by ECP Secretary Ishtiaq Ahmed who said Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution required the candidates to have ample knowledge of Islam.

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