ECP proposes polling dates for Punjab, KP polls

ISLAMABAD (INP): The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday proposed dates for holding elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Election Commission wrote letters to principal secretaries of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governors about the polling day.
The ECP has suggested to hold general elections in Punjab on any date between 9 April to 13 April while in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa it proposed polling day on any day between 15 April to 17 April. The governors will decide about the final date for polling and inform the ECP.
The Election Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday had said that it was ready to hold elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. An important meeting was held in this connection at the ECP under the chair of Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja. The meeting was told that preparations regarding setting up of polling stations and voters’ lists had been made. The CEC directed to spur efforts for conducting the polls in both the provinces.
The meeting decided to release the election schedule after governors of both the provinces would give their polling dates. The meeting was attended by the ECP members, provincial election commissioners and officials of all the wings of the commission. The meeting mulled over the preparations for the election in Punjab and KP provinces as well as by-polls on the vacant seats. The CEC asked the authorities to expedite appointments of presiding officers and other polling staff for the elections.
ECP demands Rs20b for holding general elections: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), through a letter to Finance Ministry, has demanded 20 billion rupees for holding general elections in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and by-elections on National Assembly vacant seats, according to a report on Wednesday.
The ECP letter said that Commission needed Rs25 billion to hold elections out of which the electoral body had already received Rs5 billion. Now the Commission required Rs20 billion more. The federal government has been asked to release fund for holding elections.
The letter, written by Secretary Election Commission Omer Hameed Khan, said that Rs 45 billion were approved for holding general elections and the federal government had to release Rs25 in the current fiscal year. The electoral watchdog further said that rest of the amount (Rs20 billion) should be released forthwith so that process of holding elections could be ensured. The ECP also requested the federal government for release of supplementary grant. The expenses to hold general elections were estimated at Rs45 billion which have now increased to Rs61 billion. Election Commission has to hold elections on 297 general seats of Punjab Assembly and 115 seats of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly, besides 64 vacant seats of National Assembly.