ECP committed to hold fair, transparent elections: Secretary

Election Commission of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan met with Chief Election Commissioner Justice (R) Fakhar ud Din G.Ibrahim in the chair on Monday, media reported.

The ECP decided that distribution of ballot papers for the upcoming general election would be carried out under the supervision of the army.The ECP meeting was briefed about the arrangements regarding the next general election and stated that Rs30 million had also been paid for printing.Election Commission of Pakistan is committed to hold free, fair and transparent elections in the country and making every possible preparation for organized impartial general elections.

This was stated by Secretary Election Commission (EC) Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan while briefing the media after the meeting presided by Justice (R) Fakhar ud Din G. Ibrahim.Secretary EC said that 84.37 million voters have been enrolled so far in the country and 77,000 persons visited the various offices till July 31, headed by AROs established through out the country to check their names in voter list or for any correction purpose.He said that bye-elections in Bannu and Multan had been already held following the new voters’ list and no complaint has been received regarding it.

The Secretary said that no changes are being made in the limitations of constituencies in the country and next general elections will be held following the limitations as it was in the elections of 2008.He also hinted towards increasing the number of polling stations in Punjab from 37,000 to 40,000, 14,000 to 18,000 in Sindh, 9500 to 11,000 in KPK. Similarly, he said the numbers of polling stations will be increased in Balochistan and distance of polling stations from voters in huge constituencies will be reduced as compared to previous general elections.

He said that Chief Election Commissioner will hold a meeting in the Quetta soon to review elections’ related arrangements and ensure conducive environment in the province for this purpose.The presiding officers will be above than grade-17 and there will be no transfer of any officer given any assignment regarding elections after December 31, the Secretary maintained.To a question, he said that person having dual nationality can not contest elections or become member of the parliament. However, he said there is no binding in constitution for dual nationality holder to become leader of any party.

Secretary said that Supreme Court has not directed Election Commission in `Asghar Khan case’ and it has been asked to conduct investigation through FIA. It will be the jurisdiction of Election Commission to bar any candidate from contesting elections in case he has been convicted after trial.To a question, he said that International Observers have been invited through Ministry of Foreign Affairs while local media will be also facilitated to observe elections.

Regarding installation of CCTV cameras at polling stations, he said that Election Commission would install such cameras at the `most sensitive polling stations’. He informed mediamen that Transparency International had also made offer to Election Commission for the purchase of cameras.Election Commission would install CCTV cameras at each polling station if these are provided to it, he added .

Owing to arrangements in Muharram, the Secretary said that provincial governments have requested Election Commission for postponing bye-elections. Their request have been approved and bye- elections would be held on December 4 in Punjab as well as Sindh, he maintained. – Brecorder