Delimitation to be completed before next elections: CEC

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza  Thursday said that after necessary legislation, the delimitation of constituencies would be completed before the next general elections.

Addressing the ceremony held here in connection with National Day of Voters, the CEC said that the ECP had been inviting the attention of the government to this issue in order to complete new delimitation on time.

He said that the Election Commission would print the ballot papers on watermark paper in the next election to bring further transparency in the electoral process and the arrangements were being made in this regard.

He said that in addition to men, the Election Commission had also made arrangements for women and disabled persons to ensure their participation in the election process.

He said that the ECP had also started work on the annual revision of electoral rolls so that registration of all such persons could be ensured who had obtained national identity cards and their votes were not registered at the moment. After this revision, the number of voters would exceed to10 million before the General Election 2018, he added.

He said that the constitution empowered the Election Commission to take all steps to ensure that the candidates had equal opportunities and facilities to participate in the election and maximum number of people would participate in democratic process.

He said that to highlight the importance of electoral process and the importance of the vote in the country, the Election Commission celebrated the first ever national voters day on December 7, 2016.

Similarly, this day is also being celebrated this year so that the nation can be acquainted with the importance of the vote and to ensure the registration of votes and participation in the democratic process in respect of large number of people whose votes are not registered.

At present, the Election Commission is engaged in the preparation of the next election under  new law. However, implementing this law in less than one year’s period is certainly a challenge.

He said that the Election Commission had always been trying to use modern technology so that the elections were conducted according to international standards. In this regard, the Election Commission had attached approximately 700,00 polling stations with the Geographical Information System (GIS).

He said that in the next election, the voter would not only be able to check his vote details on his mobile, but also would be able to see the building of his polling station on the internet so that the voters were facilitated and any doubt was removed from the minds of political parties, candidates and voters about the polling station building.

The CEC said that in collaboration with the UNDP, international trainers were also supporting our officers’ training. 189 officers and around 1500 officials have so far been trained from through the academy.

They have been trained in not only electoral matters, but also administrative matters, service procedures, financial matters and other office matters so that the officer can perform their duties according to public expectations, he addded.

Apart from this, the polling staff for next elections are also being sorted out while the lists of staff have been sought from various federal and provincial departments.

He added in the initial phase of training of this staff, 90 lead trainer are being trained presently.

These lead trainer will train 3000 master trainers who will further train 800,000 election staff across the country.

He said that the Election Commission has developed a Result Management System in accordance with the provisions of the Elections Act 2017, which is expected to improve the transparency and accuracy of the results to be furnished by the Returning Officer during the next general election.

He said that the Election Commission of Pakistan has developed a new mobile app called “Click ECP” for the voters and public awareness. In this mobile app, electoral laws, reports, different electoral handbooks, voters’ statistics, video messages, election results, literary content and other posts will be available.

He added this app will be useful for the guidance of the public, the voters and political parties also.

He said that the Election Commission has deployed the Computerized Electoral Rolls System in almost all of its district offices and now all such offices are connected with Election Commission and the central IT system of NADRA through extremely secure link.

Under this facility District Officers of the Election Commission will be able to enroll, remove and transfer any vote according to the law, he added.