No campaigning 21 days before local polls: official
Tuesday, 24 June 2008

– Candidates will not be allowed to start election campaigns before 21 days to the local government polls despite relaxation of the state of emergency, an official said Monday.

"Though the state of emergency has been relaxed, things will be done as per the election commission law," home secretary Abdul Karim said at a press conference at the ministry.

Kaim said the key condition for the emergency relaxation was that it would be applied in compliance with EC law.

The government published a gazette on June 20 relaxing the state of emergency ahead of the polls to four city corporations and nine municipalities.

"There was no way of creating confusion over it," he said.

"According to law, election campaigns have to be stopped 48 hours before voting starts. In such a case, arguments over the relaxation of the state of emergency are irrelevant," Karim said.

Asked if the army would be given magisterial powers during the polls, Karim said that it was up to the Election Commission to decide.

"Everything goes under the authority of the Election Commission once schedule is announced."

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