The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has laid out a detailed polling scheme for the forthcoming general elections. Of the 91,809 polling stations planned across 859 national and provincial assembly constituencies, 32,000 are classified as sensitive, and another 17,000 as highly sensitive. This update emerged during the Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs session, chaired by Senator Taj Haider.
ECP Secretary Omar Hamid Khan shed light on the electoral preparations, noting the need for approximately one million polling staff members to facilitate the seamless execution of the elections. He emphasized the introduction of electronic devices featuring bespoke software for securely transmitting Form-45 snapshots to Returning Officers. This technology will also monitor the timestamp and location of these snapshots to safeguard the election’s integrity. Preliminary results are expected to be unveiled on September 27, though any discrepancies will need up to two months for resolution.
Committee Emphasizes Timely Conduct of Elections
Reiterating the constitutional mandate, the committee stressed the ECP’s duty to conduct general elections within 90 days after the National Assembly’s dissolution. They pressed the ECP to declare the election timetable to dispel any uncertainties surrounding the polls’ timing. Addressing concerns about gender disparities among voters, Khan pointed out the ECP’s initiatives to bridge the gender gap, notably highlighting progress in Balochistan.
Assurances of Fairness and No Rigging
In discussing the allocation of development project funds, Senator Taj Haider emphasized the importance of directing resources to sanctioned plans. Reassuringly, the ECP Secretary conveyed the commission’s neutrality, stating its commitment to ensuring an equitable environment for all contenders. He confidently remarked that the forthcoming elections would be devoid of rigging, attributing this to the stringent measures in place. Reflecting on past missteps, he mentioned, “We are making sure that the mistakes made by the ECP in the past are not repeated.”
Committee chairman Senator Taj Haider conveyed apprehensions regarding election scheduling delays and the timely completion of constituency boundaries. He intended to communicate the committee’s sentiments to the ECP via a formal letter.