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ECP says ready to hold elections by October-end

Secretary Umar Hameed says commission will continue to do work as per law

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Secretary Umar Hameed Khan on Monday said that the commission will continue to do its work as per law, fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities.

“ECP is not a political institute and we work under rules and obey the constitution of Pakistan. Our decisions are based on law and legislation,” the secretary ECP said while addressing a press conference.

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He informed that after the incorporation of decisions of the revising authorities, the final electoral rolls will be published on August 12, 2022. He said that in order to facilitate the voters, the ECP has established 20,159 display centres and 525 revising authorities across the country.

He said that as per details of voters appearing on preliminary electoral rolls in respect of all provinces and the federal capital are as male voters 65,657,536 and female voters 54,824,766 with a total of 120,482,302 voters.

He added, numbers of voters in Islamabad are 944,817, Punjab 68,675,271 voters, Sindh 25,333,990 voters, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 20,512,349 voters and Balochistan 5,015,875 voters.

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He said that in order to facilitate the general public, SMS 8300 was made free of cost across the country to all subscribers from November 26, 2021 to December 31, 2021. He said that the timelines of activities of the periodical revision 2021-2022 will be as publication of electoral rolls under section 28 of the Elections Act 2017 and inviting claims, objections and applications for corrections will continue from May 21 to June 19.

He added that the disposal of claims, objections and applications for correction by the revising authorities and media campaign and monitoring of display period will be during the period May 21 to July 7.

The date fixed for data entry of forms 15, 16 and 17 after disposal of claims, objections and applications for correction by the revising authorities will be July 5 to July 14 while the date for printing and delivery of final electoral rolls to all DECs will be during July 15 to August 11.

Overall 13.4 million hits were recorded during this period which demonstrates the great interest of the voters in registration of their votes at their desired addresses mentioned in their NICs.

He added, that during door-to-door verification, around 98.49 million voters were verified at their permanent or temporary addresses whereas around four million were reported as deceased voters while further, and 15.9 million voters were not verified.

In order to ensure the correct allocation of census blocks to unverified voters, door-to-door verification of supplementary lists containing unverified voters only was carried out from March 4 to 18, 2022. In this exercise, further voters were got verified.

He said that about 0.95 million voters could not be verified in either of both door-to-door verification exercises and all voters were under the direction of ECP shifted to electoral rolls belonging to their permanent addresses. He said that the preliminary electoral rolls have been published for inspection by the general public for 30 days from May 21 to June 19, 2022.

He said that the Election Commission decided to carry out periodical revision of electoral rolls under section 36 of the Elections Act 2017 so that an accurate and updated electoral roll is made available well before the general elections-2023.

He added that the periodical revision envisaged various phases, like door-to-door verification of Draft Electoral Rolls (DER), door-to-door verification of the supplementary list of unverified voters, filing of claims, objections and applications for corrections, the disposal thereof by the revising authorities and final publication of revised electoral rolls. He said that the process of periodical revision commenced from October 8, 2021 with making administrative arrangements in the initial 30 days. The door-to-door verification process started from November 7, 2021 and culminated on December 31st, 2021.

ECP officials informed that the final electoral rolls are the existing electoral rolls which were published in October 2020 and is in operation ever since. All bye-elections local government elections held since October 2020 are being held on these final electoral rolls (existing electoral rolls).

They added, that the preliminary electoral rolls are the electoral rolls which have been published for inspection by the general public on May 21, 2022 in connection with the periodical revision of Electoral Rolls 2021-22.

Currently, objections claims are being received which will be decided by revising authorities. After incorporation of these decisions, final electoral rolls 2022 will be published and immediately thereafter electoral rolls 2020 will be abolished, they added.

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