Voters to cast vote in constituency on CNIC in 2018 polls: ECP

F.P Report
PESHAWAR: While briefing media with regard to Election Act 2017, the Election Commission of Pakistan on Wednesday clearly said it (ECP) would nullify the poll result in any constituency wherein the vote count remains less than 10 per cent in that constituency
While talking to media persons in connection with a daylong workshop in Peshawar, Additional Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Zafar Iqbal, said that ECP has introduced electoral reforms to avoid mistake in forthcoming general polls to be held in 2018. He categorically said that every voter would cost vote in his/her constituency on the address given in his/her Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) in forthcoming polls.
Apart from government officials, he said all the voters would cast vote in their own constituencies so that irregularities could not take place next time. He said that under the act a formula has been drafted for printing of ballot papers and the returning officer would seal record of tempering in election in an evident bag to keep it preserve for future investigation.
Mr Iqbal said that under the Election Act 2017, all the officials to be deployed on election duty would take oath to ensure transparent casting of vote, adding provincial election commissioners would take oath from all district returning officers while district election officers would take oath from returning officers.
Director General Election Muhammad Yousuf Khattak who spoke on the occasion saying that ECP would declare the election result of any constituency null and void if vote count remains less than 10 per cent in that constituency. He said that after thorough deliberations the Election Act 2017 was approved and now the ECP would draft rules under this act.
He said that ECP remained fully engaged in meeting of parliamentary committee on election reforms and floated various suggestions to ensure transparent election in future. He informed the data of voter lists is now shifted to ECP from NADRA and as per the data the overall vote bank would be over 100 million. He said that any candidate or his agent can obtain a copy of voters’ list from ECP through a formal application.
Mr Khattak said that after May 1st, 2018 the previous voters’ list would stand cancelled and sitting assemblies would complete the terms by June 1st, 2018.
Director MIS Haider Ali said that use of technology in NA-4 Peshawar by-poll proved very helpful in finalizing the election results.
Additional Director General Gender Affairs Nighat Saddiqui told the participants of workshop that ECP is taking steps to ensure participation of all segments of society, adding that district voters’ education committees have been activated at district level. She hoped an increase in turn out in next general elections.
She said that as per the ECP data women voting was less in 79 constituencies of the country where the commission has decided now to arrange mobile vans with the collaboration of NADRA for registration of votes of the women.
The spokesman of Election Commission Haroon Shinwari said that ECP is fully ready for general elections at any time. He said that since the population census has been completed therefore delimitation has become imperative now.
To a question, Additional Secretary told media that the estimated cost for conduct of election process has also been increased.
He said that ECP is going to celebrate national voters’ day on December 7 where awareness and sensitization would be created among media, civil society and general public.
The workshop was attended by media representatives from Peshawar. A total five sessions were held and media persons were briefed about electoral reforms. Provincial Election Commissioner Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pir Maqbool Ahmed also attended the workshop.