ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has successfully accomplished the task of handing over 260 million ballot papers to the district returning officers (DROs) for the elections scheduled for February 8.
An ECP spokesperson, in a statement on Monday, attributed the timely completion of the crucial responsibility to the dedicated efforts and organized planning of the Commission’s staff. “The dispatching process involved both ground and aerial means, ensuring an efficient and swift distribution of the ballot papers.
The spokesperson said that all the ballot papers were handed over to the respective DROs and their representatives. “Despite encountering challenges posed by adverse weather conditions, the ECP staff exhibited resilience and determination, overcoming obstacles to ensure that the task was completed on time,” he added.
The spokesperson said that all the ballot papers were handed over from the government’s printing presses to concerned District Returning Officers and their representatives. He said the process faced difficulties due to inclement weather, but despite all the challenges, the commission completed the work on time so that all voters can exercise their right to vote in an efficient and organised manner.
Foreign observers arrive
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja has said that over 100 foreign observers are present in the country for the February 8 general elections.
A statement from the Election Commission of Pakistan said that the CEC explained to a Commonwealth observer group that Pakistan had adopted an “open door policy” for foreign poll observers.
The Commonwealth Observers Group, led by former Nigerian President Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, on Monday met Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja.
The meeting was attended by ECP members, secretary and other senior officers.
CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja, while welcoming the members of the Commonwealth Observers Group, expressed gratitude for their presence in Pakistan.
He appreciated the Commonwealth Secretariat for sending a 15-member observer group along with a nine-member support team to Pakistan to observe the February 8 general elections.
He informed them about the Election Commission’s open-door policy for international observers and underscored that Pakistan had issued accreditation cards for over a hundred international observers, ensuring transparency in the electoral process.
The CEC briefed the Commonwealth Observers Group about the election preparations, highlighting the dedicated efforts made by the Election Commission to ensure free, fair, and transparent elections.
The Commonwealth Observers Group commended Pakistan’s commitment to holding peaceful and successful elections. Dr. Jonathan, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Commonwealth Observers Group, expressed appreciation for the Election Commission’s thorough preparations and extended gratitude for facilitating the group’s visit to Pakistan.
ECP dismisses social media reports
ECP dismisses baseless social media reports regarding postal ballots. The Election Commission of Pakistan has termed reports circulating on social media showing the number of postal ballots of jail inmates by various candidates as baseless and misleading.
In a statement, the electoral watchdog clarified that Returning Officers open and count postal ballots in their respective constituencies in front of the candidates and their polling agents during the consolidation process. The ballot papers are later included in the final results.
The ECP urged people to not pay any attention to such misleading news.