Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad on Wednesday said the largest expense with regards to the 2018 general elections was incurred on the training of polling officials, which includes training of troops.
Speaking to reporters after the end of polling time, Yaqoob disclosed that the finance ministry has paid Rs9 billion to the Pakistan Army to provide security during the elections across the country.
The 2018 elections are expected to cost the federal kitty more than three times the cost of the last two elections put together, with a major part of it likely flowing to the armed forces for the deployment of troops, Dawn reported earlier this week.
The 2008 general elections cost Rs1.84bn out of the federal budget. It surged to Rs4.73bn for the 2013 elections, showing an increase of almost 157 per cent. The Pakistan Army was paid Rs758 million in the 2013 elections compared to Rs120m in 2008.
Another major increase in the expenditure was caused by the use of imported watermarked ballot papers for the first time.
Yaqoob told reporters that a notification declaring the winners be issued within 14 days of the poll day.
The candidates will have to submit details of election expenses within 10 days, and the winning notification will be issued for only those contestants who submit such details, he said.
The ECP secretary observed that the situation in Balochistan ahead of the 2018 elections has been improvement over that was witnessed before the 2013 polls.
He said almost every other candidate from Balochistan was attacked during the last elections, as were seven offices of the ECP. The Mastung terrorist attack was extremely saddening, he said.
Referring to the accusation of breach of secrecy of ballot against Imran Khan, he said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman could be sentenced if the allegation is proven.
Khan's vote had been televised on electronic media as he had chosen to vote in the open rather than behind the secrecy screen as required by the law.
He said the election results will have more transparency due to the use of the Result Transmission System (RTS). The system will not malfunction, he said.
Yaqoob said the independent candidates can join parties within three days of the issuance of the ECP notification.
The chief election commissioner will formally announce the first electoral result once it is finalised, he revealed.