A total number of 13 violations for the upcoming General Elections 2018 were reported out of which eight reports were filed for violation of code of conduct. The political parties have been using different schemes to attract their supporters. One violation that is notable is the use of bribe in terms of money, schemes of prizes or any other offer that is done to garner support of the voters from a particular constituency.

There have been video evidences of PML-N candidates distributing cash amongst the voters previously. Another evidence has surfaced regarding the same case where an independent candidate Miya Fayaz from NA 183 has fixed the price of Rs 6000 which will be distributed in return of one vote casted in his favor. Such schemes not only make the political processes opaque and ambiguous but also can serve the ground for arguing of pre-poll rigging techniques.

Display of weapons, use of fireworks, use of big banners and wrong poster sizes and the support of local body and administrative representatives to the election campaign are still the dominating trend which account for the violation of ECP code of conduct. A report provided by our citizen journalist working in Tharparkar exposed the violations done by the Union Council Vice Chairman Chilaram who is supporting and facilitating the campaign of the candidates of the PPP People’s Party from NA-221 and PS-56 and also organizing their events at a local school. The people of Tharparkar have demanded the election commission to take action against the local representatives who have been openly flouting the rules and code of conduct of the Election Commission.

Religious ideals are also prevailing especially in the campaign of Jibran Nasir where he was again inquired by a mob of protesters regarding his faith and his stance on religious minorities. He had once again refuted the question and organized a press conference to present their view against bigotry and intimidation of this sort.

Lastly, the house of a senior leader of Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), Abdul Ghafoor Hoat was attacked here on while he was inside the house.  According to sources, shots were fired at his house by unidentified men. Abdul Ghafoor Hoat and other people in the house remained unhurt in the attack. Police said many bullets hit walls of the house. The news was also verified by our citizen journalist working in the area.

With one week away from elections, it will be interesting to see the different trends and violations done by the political parties in order to gather as much support as possible. Overall, the trends have remained constant keeping violation of code of conduct at one hand with a rise in protests, rallies and violence including inflammatory speech, intimidation and physical harm.

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