ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan on Wednesday fixed 11 petitions, including the one submitted by PTI founding member Akbar S Babar, seeking conduct of PTI intra-party elections afresh, for preliminary hearing on December 8.
Besides, Babar and 10 other petitioners, the mainstream political parties have also expressed reservations over PTI’s intra-party elections conducted on December 2 in Peshawar. The matter has already generated a lot of public interest and it is speculated related proceedings will be closely followed.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) noted on social media there were reports that some constituencies had registered ghost voters in Murree besides other constituencies; it said the allegation that work had been done to benefit any political party was false. “Under Sections 26 and 27 of the Elections Act 2017, a voter is registered according to the permanent or temporary address mentioned on his identity card. It is not necessary for any voter to be present in the constituency, which is why there is a difference between many constituencies/districts in the ratio of population and voter registration,” the ECP spokesman clarified.
He explained: “If you look at people with identity cards of Murree or Jhelum, they live in other cities and places, while at the time of census, they are not in Murree or Jhelum. So they are not counted in the census, due to which the population in the census decreases and more voters are registered in the electoral rolls, because if their address on the identity card is Murree or Jhelum, they are eligible to vote there.”
Apart from this, he pointed out, the commission conducted a regular campaign for objections, if any, to the registration and exclusion of votes, in which the electoral rolls were renewed and the votes of all deceased voters were deleted till October 28, 2023, the last date for registration, exclusion and correction of votes. The electoral rolls will be used during the elections. He made it clear that the commission reserved the right to take appropriate action against the institutions and individuals concerned in this regard.
In a related development, Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja met caretaker Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Justice (retd) Arshad Hussain Shah regarding preparations for general elections. The chief minister briefed the chief election commissioner at the Election Commission Secretariat, Islamabad, on preparations for general elections in the province. The CEC expressed satisfaction over preparations for elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Separately, Raja expressed grief over the death of District Election Commissioner Multan Ghulam Abbas on behalf of the Election Commission of Pakistan. He prayed for forgiveness of the departed soul and patience for the grieving family members.