MIRPUR (AJK)-Following the code of conduct announced by the AJK Election Commission, the authorities have banned the holding of major public rallies and processions during the campaign for July 21 elections. “The holding of major car and motorcycle rallies and processions, hoisting of the party flags on the vehicles by the candidates during the general elections campaign in Azad Jammu & Kashmir have been banned in the light of the code of conduct already announced by the AJK Elections Commission under the spirit to ensure holding of the polls in free, fair and transparent manner,” sources told this Correspondent on Wednesday.

Under the comprehensive code of conduct, the candidates will have to take prior permission from the district administration of their concerned electoral constituency for holding a major public rally for election campaign to the AJK legislative Assembly, the sources said. At the same time, the hoisting and displaying of party flags on the places of public places including chowks, crossings and other important business centres might also be banned, the sources indicated.

The holding of corner meetings for electioneering by the candidates, however, have been allowed within the walled premises with maximum gathering of up to 200 persons. Since showing of national identity card by the voters while exercising their right of franchise has reportedly been made compulsory, the voters shall produce the original CNIC at the polling station while using his or her right of franchise. Visiting overseas Kashmiris shall also produce the original CNIC issued by Nadra and its copy bearing the entry stamp on the passport depicting their arrival in the country for using the right of vote in the polls, the sources revealed.

The constitutional tenure of AJK Legislative Assembly shall expire on 24th of July, 2016. Under interim Act 1974, the interim constitution of AJK, it is mandatory to hold elections in 60 days before the last date. The final list of candidates have been displayed by the Returning Officers and election symbols have also been allotted according to the elections schedule. After the recent updating and computerisation of the voters lists by the AJK Election Commission with the coordination of Nadra, there are a total of 22,37, 058 voters including 12,11,842 men and 10,25,216 women in AJK’s 10 districts. For refugees’ 12 constituencies, a total of 4,44,634 voters have been entitled to exercise their right to franchise.

The voter lists have been afresh with the cooperation of Nadra for 2016 elections and bogus votes have been removed, AJK Election Commission sources said. The scheduled AJK elections will be held under the security of army and Rangers and the code of conduct for political parties and candidates has been issued.