'ECP is striving to hold free and fair elections,' says CEC in message ahead of polls

July 24, 2018

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Chief Election Commission Pakistan Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza's message for voters.

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) retired Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza on Tuesday assured voters that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was "trying its best to hold free, fair and unbiased elections".

In a video message released by the election body, Raza urged voters to fulfill their "duty towards the nation" by casting their votes responsibly on polling day on July 25.

Also read: Thinking of not voting in Pakistan's elections? Think again

Over the past few days, the ECP has released multiple notifications for voters, polling staff and political parties, explaining what to do — and what not to do — on polling day.

On Monday, the election body issued a list of requirements that a ballot paper would have to meet in order to be included in the counting process. Ballot papers that are missing the official code mark or assistant presiding officer's signature or have a paper attached to them will not be considered valid, according to the ECP.

Last week, the ECP released a notification informing voters, polling staff and political parties of actions that would constitute as crimes on election day and would fall under the jurisdiction of the district returning officers.

Asking a voter who they voted for, spoiling ballot papers or stamps in any way, taking a picture of the ballot paper are some of the actions that would land the offender in jail for upto three months, result in fines upto Rs100,000, or both.