Printing of ballot papers for general elections to be completed by February 2: Pakistan Election Commission

The Election Commission of Pakistan said the delivery of ballot papers with the help of security personnel was under way simultaneously in four provinces.

January 30, 2024 04:18 pm | Updated 05:59 pm IST - Islamabad

A view of the Election Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad. File

A view of the Election Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad. File | Photo Credit: AFP

“Pakistan’s election authorities have said that printing of ballot papers for the February 8 general elections would be complete by February 2,” according to a media report on January 30.

Pakistan is going to the polls for the National Assembly and four provincial legislatures next Thursday and the election campaigning is going on in full swing. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said the delivery of ballot papers with the help of security personnel was under way simultaneously in the four provinces as the printing of ballot papers would be completed by February 2, The News International reported.

“The printing of ballot papers, which is being done in three government presses, is going on satisfactorily,” the report said.

“The printing work, which started on January 16 after the allotment of election symbols by returning officers (ROs), will be completed in the next four days, i.e. by February 2,” the newspaper quoted an ECP spokesman as saying.

He said that at the same time, with the help of security agencies, ROs and district administrations, the delivery of ballot papers has started for the four provinces. These deliveries are being done both by road and air.

The spokesman also pointed out that from January 29, people have been provided 8300 SMS services to get information about their polling station among other information. Voters will have to send their identity card number to 8300 to get their vote information.

All voters have been requested to get details of them and their family’s vote on time so that they do not face any problems in polling stations.

Meanwhile, the commission has so far completed the training of 9,70,000 polling staff out of 9,76,000 required polling staff, which is 96% of the total required number. The training of the remaining 6,000 polling personnel will be completed in the next four days.

Separately, taking immediate notice of the news circulating in some sections of the media that a group of Ulemas in Kohistan has allegedly issued a fatwa banning women from campaigning, the Commission immediately sought a report from the district monitoring officer of Kohistan Upper.

The official clarified in his report that the news was not true and this was a result of misconception.

However, the spokesman said the Commission wanted to make it clear that if a woman was prevented from campaigning or voting in the constituency concerned during the upcoming elections, it would take action under Section 9 of the Elections Act and the poll process in the constituency could also be declared null and void.

Meanwhile, the ECP has taken note of incidents of clashes and firing between two political parties in Karachi over flag hoisting and snatching of postal ballots in the Swabi district.

The Commission has sought reports from the Chief Secretary and the police chief concerned so that action can be taken against those involved in these incidents under election laws, a news report said.

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