PESHAWAR: The relevant returning officers across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) on Saturday issued public notices about the schedule of elections in the two regions, saying nomination papers could be submitted to them until March 29.
The public notices were issued by the returning officers of 35 and 12 National Assembly constituencies in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA respectively, 99 provincial assembly constituencies in the province, reserved seats for women for the National and provincial assemblies in the province, and seats reserved for minorities in the provincial assembly.
The issuance of such notices is a requirement under Section 11 (3) of the Representation of Peoples Act and through it, electors of a constituency are informed by the returning officer about the polling schedule.The provincial election commissioner, Sono Khan Baloch, who is also returning officer for seats reserved for women and minorities, issued the public notice for reserved seats.The said notice was issued for eight seats reserved for women in the National Assembly from KP, 22 seats reserved for women in the KP Assembly and three seats reserved for minorities in the provincial assembly.
Mr Baloch directed the aspirants of these reserved seats to submit their nomination papers at his office from March 24 to March 29. He asked candidates to submit priority list of candidates of their respective political parties along with their nomination papers.The scrutiny of nomination papers will take place from March 30 to April 5, while appeals against decisions of returning officers could be filled before the notified tribunal until April 16.The tribunals will decide appeals until April 16.
Under the Constitution and Representation of People’s Act, the reserved seats are filled through indirect elections on the basis of proportional representation in accordance with the number of general seats win by a political party and for that purpose the political parties have to submit their respective priority lists of candidates.In the provincial capital, notices were issued by returning officers of four National assembly and 11 provincial assembly constituencies.
The Peshawar district and sessions judge, Shehbar Khan, who is district returning officer, supervised the process here.Those who issued the notices for national assembly constituencies here include: Additional district session judge (ADSJ) and Haq Nawaz Swathi, Returning Officer (RO) of NA-1, Peshawar-I; ADSJ Inamullah Wazir and RO of NA-2; Ajmal Khan Wazir and RO of NA-3; and ADSJ Kashif Nadeem and RO of NA-4.
Similarly, the returning officers who issued notices for provincial assembly constituencies from Peshawar include: Civil Judge Shaukat Ahmad Khan, RO PK-1, Peshawar-I; Civil Judge Mohammad Asim and RO in PK-2; Civil Judge Tufail Ahmad and RO in PK-3; Civil Judge Sher Aziz and RO in PK-4; Civil Judge Attaullah Jan and RO in PK-5; Civil Judge Zafarullah Khan and RO in PK-6; Civil Judge Bukhtzada and RO in PK-7; Civil Judge Syed Fazal Wadood and RO in PK-8; Civil Judge Ijaz Younas and RO in PK-9; Civil Judge Iftikhar Ahmad and RO in PK-10; and Civil Judge Nadeem Akhtar and RO in PK-11.
Similarly, the returning officers issued public notices in 24 other districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the national and provincial assembly constituencies.In Fata, there are 12 constituencies of National Assembly for the seven tribal agencies and six frontier regions.There are two seats each for Kurram, Bajaur, Khyber and South Waziristan agencies and one each for Mohmand, Orakzai and North Waziristan agencies.The six tribal regions of Peshawar, Kohat, Tank, Dera Ismail Khan, Bannu and Lakki Marwat share a single seat of National Assembly.
Meanwhile, Provincial Election Commissioner Sono Khan Baloch has directed all candidates to avoid visiting the offices of returning officers in processions for security reasons.He said only a candidate along with his/her proposer and seconder would be allowed to enter the premises of the respective returning officer.He added that due to rush of people any untoward incident could happen and as the returning officers in the province were judicial officers, therefore, it could also violate sanctity of courtrooms.
The ECP has appointed 32 district returning officers, 145 returning officers and 164 assistant returning officers in KP and Fata.According to the ECP data, around 12.334 million voters, including 7.058 million men and 5.276 million women, will exercise their right of franchise in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 1.751 million, including 1.153 million men and 0.597 million women, in Fata.