Islamabad(July 10, 2018): A meeting in connection with the security of the general elections was held in Islamabad on Tuesday with Caretaker Interior Minister Mohammad Azam Khan in the chair.
The Caretaker Minister said foolproof security will be ensured during the poll keeping in view the threats. He said full coordination should be provided to Election Commission of Pakistan in this regard.
Mohammad Azam Khan advised the political parties to avoid leveling personal allegations during the election campaign and cooperate with the government for security.On the other hand, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (R) Sardar Mohammad Raza Khan on Tuesday expressed his annoyance at the monetary impact of repeated changes in ballot papers due to high court’s rulings.
A five-member bench headed by Chief Election Commissioner was hearing a petition filed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for the allotment of the party’s electoral symbol, tiger, to Maryam Nawaz’s covering candidates. PML-N lawyers had also filed a similar petition for NA-146 Pakpattan to Rana Zahid’s covering candidate, his son Rana Iradat, after the former was disqualified to contest polls from the constituency. Ali Pervaiz is contesting the polls from NA-127 constituency and Irfan Khokhar will represent PML-N from PP-173 constituency, following Maryam’s disqualification from contesting the polls by an accountability court.
As the hearing went under way, PML-N lawyers appeared before the bench to present their arguments. They contended that Subsection 3 of Election Act 2017’s Clause 4 dictates that the covering candidate is allotted the party’s electoral symbol.The lawyers informed the court that names of both covering candidates were written on Form 33 submitted to the ECP by Maryam from both constituencies. The pleaded the electoral body to review the Form 33 from both NA-127 and PP-173 constituencies.
“Till when will Form 33 be changed?” remarked a member of the Sindh division of ECP.
Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Khan remarked about the expense involved in the printing of ballot papers. “The printing of ballot papers commenced on July 1; watermarked ballot papers are very expensive. Why don’t the high courts consider the burden [of monetary expenditure] on the commission,” he stated.The CEC further noted that the printing process will not be completed if the trend of high court ruling continues. “If a few similar rulings are announced, we will run out of ballot papers,” he said.
The electoral body then reserves its verdict on the PML-N petition.
Later, the ECP-bench announced the verdict, accepting PML-N’s petition. The electoral body accepted PML-N’s request to review Form 33 from NA-127, PP-173, and NA-146.
ECP Completes Necessary Arrangements For Polls:
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on July 09, said that the commission had made all necessary logistic arrangements for ensuring to hold the upcoming general election on July 25 in a smooth and an organized manner.
The holding of elections which is considered to be a biggest logistic activity in the country required a comprehensive strategy to deal all matters related with the logistic support, ECP’s Spokesperson Altaf Khan said.
“The logistic exercises are of two kinds including sensitive and non-sensitive.
Sensitive logistic exercise involves ballot papers while non-sensitive includes deployment of official staff, formation of District Monitoring Teams (DMT), bags, pens, indelible ink and stamps in bulk,” Altaf informed.
Explaining the sensitive logistic exercise, the Spokesperson said, it involved printing of ballot papers and import of the papers, used for ballot papers, from the United Kingdom and France.He informed that it was estimated that the commission required 210 million of total ballot papers for the total constituencies of national and provincial assemblies.
Enlightening about the non-sensitive he said the commission was engaging the 750,000 work force from the federal and provincial departments to hold the upcoming polls.He said that the commission has arranged bags, pens, indelible ink and stamps in bulk.
It is pertinent to mention here that the process of printing of 220 million ballot papers for the general election 2018 would be completed by July 20. The commission had prepared a plan for dispatch of ballot papers to around 85,000 polling stations across the country well before the polling day.