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ECP to Issue Poll Schedule Next Week

In message marking National Voters Day, CEC says printing, delivery of final electoral rolls completed and urges public to exercise right to vote for their children’s future

by Staff Report

File photo of ECP CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja on Thursday urged the public to exercise their right to vote in the upcoming general elections and play their role in shaping the future of the country.

In a message marking National Voters Day, he said the printing and delivery of final electoral rolls was complete, adding his department was fully cognizant of its constitutional and legal responsibilities. Stressing the full preparedness and commitment of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to the electoral process, he vowed that voters would have complete security throughout the election process, adding authorities would ensure the exercise of the people’s voting rights with privacy and transparency.

According to the CEC, the ECP is gearing up to announce the election schedule—expected around Dec. 14—and appoint district returning officers (DROs), returning officers (ROs) and assistant returning officers (AROs). According to Sections 50 and 51 of the Elections Act, a DRO is appointed for each district or specified area, while a returning officer is assigned for each electoral constituency in an assembly.

Encouraging voters to actively participate in the polls scheduled for Feb. 8, 2024, Raja emphasized the importance of prioritizing their children’s future and advised against believing unfounded news and rumors concerning elections. Amidst rampant speculation about a further delay to the polls, the Finance Division on Tuesday released Rs. 17.4 billion to the ECP for poll arrangements, adding the government would perform all necessary functions to assist the electoral body in conducting polls.

Noting that exercising one’s right to vote was a national duty, he maintained that the elections would be conducted peacefully. He also called for the public’s cooperation to achieve this.

Pakistan marks National Voters Day on Dec. 7 annually to raise awareness among the masses about the importance of voter registration and encouraging them to use the power of ballot to elect the representatives of their choice. The country held its first general elections on Dec. 7, 1970.

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