ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Monday filed a petition with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), challenging ‘illegal changes’ made in the preliminary electoral rolls and seeking their correction as per law.

The petition, filed by the PTI through its additional secretary general Omar Ayub Khan, refers to preliminary electoral rolls on display across the country and says that complaints from registered members and general public throughout Pakistan about mismanagement, unwarranted changes in the electoral rolls and preparation of allegedly fake and incorrect electoral rolls by the ECP’s subordinate provincial offices, registration officers, verifying officers, enumerators and revising authorities continue to pour in.

Interestingly, the ECP through its secretary has been made a respondent in the petition filed with the ECP.

The petition says due to wrong placement of preliminary electoral rolls at wrong display centres, a large number of voters has been unable to check their entries and to get them verified or to apply for correction. “It has been done at a large scale and allegedly amounts to pre-poll rigging so that particular electorates could not reach their respective polling stations on poll day to cast their votes…”

The petition says as per Section 25 of Elections Act 2017, Nadra has to transmit relevant data of every fresh National Identity Card issued by it to the Commission for registration of the card-holder as a voter in the electoral roll of the electoral area in which his permanent or temporary address is located, in accordance with the option indicated by him in the application for issuance of the National Identity Card.

“The respondent (ECP) cannot even change the voters’ block code or registration of voter from Permanent/Temporary to other place without consent or written request of voters,” it emphasises. The petition also points out that the preliminary electoral roll was displayed at selected display centres, particularly in the premises of government schools, but unfortunately the same were displayed in such a manner that voters were unable to approach their display centres.

The petition says it is obligatory upon the ECP to place the name of a person in electoral roll as per place of residence as envisaged in Chapter IV of Election Act 2017. “It is mandatory under election laws that a voter can be enrolled in area of his temporary or permanent address or as per his choice”.

Published in Dawn, June 28th, 2022

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