ECP reschedules Daska by-poll to 'bring more transparency'.

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday decided to reschedule the NA-75 Daska by-election.

According to the announcement made by the commission, the by-poll will now take place on April 10, 2021. "The election date has been extended to bring transparency in the elections and make administrative matters foolproof," the ECP said.

Earlier, the ECP had decided to conduct the by-poll on March 18, 2021. The by-poll was originally held on February 19 but had to be declared null and void after the results in 20 polling stations were suspected to be 'tampered with'. Subsequently, the Commission issued an order for fresh polls to be conducted. "Incidents of murders, firing and injuries, bad law and order situation in the subject constituency [created] harassment for voters and other circumstances leading to make the process of results doubtful/unascertainable," an order issued by the ECP had noted.

The staff of the 20 polling stations - where presiding officers went missing and were unreachable as was noted in the ECP statement following election day - will be reappointed for the April 10 by-poll. According to the district education authority, the staff will be appointed from the department of education.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court sought the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) records on the Sialkot NA-75 Daska by-election held on February 19, 2021.

The record was sought by a bench headed by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, which is hearing a petition filed by the PTI candidate who stood for election in the constituency. The petitioner wants the ECP's decision to order re-election in the constituency be overturned.

During the hearing, Justice Bandial observed that the top court had ruled that elections should be free and fair. Justice Sajjad Ali Shah noted that the ECP has the authority to take action without receiving a formal application, but asked on what basis the ECP authorised re-election in the whole constituency.

Upon hearing the judge's remarks, PML-N candidate Nausheen Iftikhar told the court that 23 presiding officers were "kidnapped" during...

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