–Candidates will get 28 days to run their campaigns, instead of 21
–ECP to send summary of upcoming elections to president next week
— Summary says 80pc public will not be able to contest the elections
ISLAMABAD: The 2018 general elections will be held sometime between July 25 and July 31, reported a private news channel on Saturday, quoting officials from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), with the finalised list of candidates to be released 28 days prior to polling day.
The candidates will thus get 28 days to run their campaigns instead of 21. The printing of ballot papers will also commence 28 days before the country goes to the polls.
The ECP officials said that the upcoming polls, as per the constitution, must be held by July 31 under any circumstances. A final schedule is set to be released 60 days in advance, which should fall somewhere in the final week of May.
The commission, for the first time in Pakistan’s electoral history, will release a 55-day election schedule as opposed to the 48-day schedule that was the norm until now.
According to the ECP’s statistics, the number of registered voters in Pakistan, following the review of voters lists, has reached 104,267,581 — of which 58,463,228 are men and 45,804,353 women. The numbers indicate a widening gap in the ratio of male and female voters in the country.
ECP officials recalled that a deadline of April 30 was set for the registration, change, transfers, entry and exit of voters and the commission is now working on formulating electoral lists.
Meanwhile, the ECP plans on printing a combined total of 220 million ballot papers for the upcoming national and provincial polls.
The officials also said that the deployment process of returning officers (ROs) and deputy returning officers (DROs) in the entire country have been concluded. Up to 90,000 polling stations will be made operational for the elections, the officials added.
ECP TO SEND SUMMARY OF ELECTIONS TO PRESIDENT:
ECP has finalised summary regarding the forthcoming general elections. The proposed summary will be dispatched to the President House for approval next week.
According to the proposed summary, 80 per cent pubic would not be able to contest the forthcoming general elections due to high nomination papers fee. A National Assembly candidate will pay Rs30,000 and provincial candidate Rs20,000 for the filing of nomination papers.
The ECP has also fixed the limit of elections expenditures whereas the criterion of security fund has also been changed.
It has been mentioned in the summery that the expected candidate should have sure that h/she will be able to receive 1/4 of the total vote. If a candidate failed to achieve the agreed number of vote, the candidate’s security will be ceased.
Whereas in the past, this limit was only 12 per cent and nomination papers fee was Rs4,000. The nomination papers fee for provincial candidates was only Rs2,000.
As compared to the past years, the elections fee has been increased several hundreds times. According to the summery, a National Assembly candidate would be allowed to spend Rs4 million whereas these expenses will Rs2 million for a provincial candidate.
As per the proposed draft, the ECP can hire an electoral staff of any other government department other than judiciary officials.
For strict monitoring, returning officers would be allowed to choose his monitoring team and in this regard, returning officers were asked to send lists of their choice officials.
The ECP will send three separate summaries of different dates to the president. According to the constitution, elections in the country are must within 60 days after the end of the elected government. The summary would be sent to the president house next week.