Fri, 12 Aug 2022

Islamabad [Pakistan], July 6 (ANI): Pakistan's Election Commission (PEC) has issued a notice to Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz over a violation of the by-elections code of conduct.

The notice stated that the PEC was obliged to ensure that elections are conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with the law under Article 218(3) of the Constitution, the Dawn newspaper reported.

"It has, however, come to the notice of the Election Commission of Pakistan through media that you have announced a relief package for the consumers of electricity of Punjab under the Roshan Gharana Programme, which is in violation of the directives," the notice read.

The Election Commission asked Hamza Shahbaz to appear before it on Thursday at 10 a.m. in person or through counsel and submit a response regarding the same.

A relief package promising free electricity for households consuming up to 100 units from July was announced by Hamza during a press conference a few days before the by-elections in 20 constituencies of the Punjab Provincial Assembly which are scheduled to be held on July 17.

The relief package is supposed to benefit around nine million poor families, Dawn reported.

The package was termed by Hamza as the largest in the history of Pakistan for providing relief to the downtrodden.

As per the package, about half of the population of the province will be provided free electricity in July and their bills will be paid by the Punjab government next month.

However, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that the relief package announced by Hamza was a violation of court orders and an attempt to gain political mileage.

Hussain wrote a letter to the Supreme Court regarding the relief package, and said that the package was for political gains, the local media reported.

Maryam Nawaz, the vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League (N), criticised PTI's move.

Nawaz added that PTI should provide free electricity to the needy in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and one should work hard, instead of being jealous.

Earlier, the Lahore High Court annulled the election of Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shahbaz and said that the votes for the Punjab CM elections will be counted again excluding the votes of the 25 PTI dissidents.

Hamza was elected as Chief Minister of Punjab province in a ruckus-marred session of the Punjab Assembly on April 16, 2022, after securing 197 votes. While his opponent, Pervez Elahi did not receive any votes as his party and PTI had boycotted the polls. (ANI)

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