PESHAWAR: The Election Commission of Pakistan has chalked out a plan to ensure participation of maximum voters in the next general election.

Waliur Rahman, the regional election commissioner, told a press conference here on Tuesday that ECP had taken measures to conduct the next general elections in fair and transparent manner across the country. He said that ECP would ensure to meet the target of 85 per cent turnout in the general elections of 2018.

“ECP is taking proactive steps to create awareness among people about importance of constitutional right to vote by engaging the notables of the area,” said that Mr Rahman. He said that for that purpose education committees comprising representatives of political parties, non-governmental organisations, education and social welfare departments were for formed.

“Special female target groups have been identified to ensure participation of large number women in the next general elections,” he said.

Mr Rahman said that due to lack of awareness, the ratio of voters always remained low. But, he said, a substantial improvement in voter turnout during 2013 general elections was observed as number of voters surged to 52 per cent from 35 per cent.

He said that ECP chalked out a holistic plan to arrange special awareness sessions, seminars and walks at district level to highlight the significance of vote. He hoped that the measures would help to increase turnout of voters.

The official said that ECP was making efforts to conduct electoral process in free, fair and transparent manner across the country. He said that geographical survey of polling stations was completed.

Mr Rahman said that result management system (RMS) was fully activated, which would provide direct results of polling stations to ECP.

He said that Electoral Rolls Computerised System would also be made functional for the first time in Peshawar by Sept 12 that could transfer responsibility of issuance of final voters list to ECP from National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra).

The official said that mock exercise of electronic voting machine and biometric voting machine was also conducted during by-elections in various constituencies of the province. He said that committees comprising notables, retired judges and bureaucrats were formed to monitor the election process by visiting polling stations.

He said that ECP would arrange special training sessions for its staffs to ensure fair and transparent elections. He said that strong rooms were set up at divisional level. He said that as per new rules, polling stations would be established within a radius of one kilometre while voters could not be exceeded from 1,200 at each polling station.

The official said that 1.548 million voters were registered in Peshawar district consisting of four National Assembly constituencies. He said that around 45,000 new voters were registered in the district.

Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2017


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