ISLAMABAD: Around 55 per cent of the polling stations to be established for the upcoming general polls, planned to be conducted in the last week of January next year, have been identified as ‘sensitive’, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Secretary Omar Hamid Khan told a Senate panel on Tuesday.
Moreover, the ECP secretary said the preliminary delimitation would be published on Sept 27. However, a period of approximately 60 days would be required for filing and disposal of representations.
Appearing before the Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, the ECP secretary said that some 91,809 polling stations are to be established out of which 49,919 have been designated as ‘sensitive’ or ‘highly sensitive’.
He said 17,411 of these have been categorised as highly sensitive and another 32,508 as sensitive while 41,809 (around 45pc) are designated as ‘normal’.
Election commission to publish preliminary delimitation today; secretary says no ban on uplift schemes approved before Aug 15
The meeting of the standing committee was held with Senator Taj Haider in the chair and was briefed on the preparations for the upcoming general elections.
ECP Secretary Khan told the panel that the general elections would have 266 National Assembly constituencies and 593 provincial assemblies. The meeting was informed that around one million polling staff would be required for the upcoming general elections.
The committee inquired about the methods for the consolidation of results in the upcoming general elections.
Mr Khan said that electronic devices carrying the software developed by ECP would be used to send snapshots of Form-45s to the returning officers, and the software was also equipped to keep track of time and place of snapshots in order to ensure the legitimacy of elections.
The Senate committee recommended that the time period for filing of representations should be curtailed from 30 days to seven days in order to ensure that the general elections were held without delay.
The committee also drew attention of the ECP towards the constitutional obligation to conduct general elections within 90 days after the dissolution of the national assembly. It however, recommended the ECP to announce the election schedule at the earliest to remove any uncertainty regarding the conduct of elections in the country.
While discussing the funds of development schemes, Senator Taj Haider emphasised that the funds should be allocated to approved schemes.
The ECP secretary said that there was no ban on development schemes approved prior to August 15.
Published in Dawn, September 27th, 2023