ISLAMABAD, March 9, 2013: The District Long-Term Observers (DLTOs) of the Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) have observed nine cases of postings and transfers in the judiciary, district administration, police and revenue department in seven districts between February 22 and 28, 2013, says a press release of FAFEN issued on Saturday.
Four of these transfers and postings were recorded in four districts of KP – Shangla, Kohat, Mardan and Swat. Three transfers and postings were made in two districts of Punjab – Bahawalnagar and Bahawalpur – and two in one district of Balochistan – Panjgur.
This report is based on data collected by District Long-Term Observers (DLTOs) in the last week of February. FAFEN DLTOs monitor postings and transfers of civil servants that could be relevant to the 2013 General Election. In particular, judges, Tehsildars and other civil servants are appointed as District Returning Officers (DROs), Returning Officers (ROs) and Assistant Returning Officers (AROs), who have responsibilities for finalizing polling schemes, polling staff, and election results.
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) issued two Notifications on January 22 and February 6, 2013, on the theme of government recruitments. According to the ECP, no recruitment of government personnel may take place before the election unless the position was advertised before August 31, 2012 or on a case-by-case basis of necessity.
Two changes were observed in the police department in the Mardan district of KP where a District Police Officer (DPO) and a Station House Officer (SHO) were posted. Two other public servants were also changed in Shangla and Kohat.
In Punjab, a District & Sessions Judge and a Civil Judge were appointed in Bahawalpur, and one Additional Sessions Judge was posted in Bahawalnagar. In Balochistan, an Assistant Commissioner and a Tehsildar were changed in Panjgur district.
Based on information gathered about continuing postings and transfers, FAFEN recommends that the ECP should rigorously enforce its notifications and other law barring the last-minute postings and transfers of state employees around the country before elections. FAFEN also recommends that all public departments, including the judiciary, should vigilantly follow these notifications and laws to ensure transparency and fairness in the upcoming elections.
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