Monday April 22, 2024

ECP extends deadline to submit party tickets for Punjab polls

Electoral authority asks candidates to get election symbols allotted from ROs by end of deadline

By Nausheen Yusuf
April 20, 2023
The Election Commission of Pakistan office in Islamabad. — Facebook/File
The Election Commission of Pakistan office in Islamabad. — Facebook/File

ISLAMABAD: As uncertainty over polls in Punjab continues to persist, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Thursday extended the deadline for candidates to submit tickets and get symbols allotted.

The electoral body said the deadline has been extended to 12am on April 20, 2023, to facilitate candidates.

In a press release, it asked all political parties to ensure their candidates were given tickets within the specified timeframe. It further asked the candidates to get election symbols allotted by returning officers (ROs) before the deadline passes, so the process could be completed according to schedule.

The Punjab Assembly was dissolved on January 14 by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government in a bid to force the ruling alliance to hold early general elections.

The ECP initially fixed April 30 as the date for the elections but later postponed it to October 8. However, the Supreme Court intervened and in an order on April 4, fixed May 14 as the date for the polls.

However, it is uncertain whether the Punjab polls will be held on May 14 in compliance with the Supreme Court's orders as the federal government has not yet released the funds required for holding the elections.

In a reply submitted to the apex court on April 18, the election commission said it was "getting impossible" to hold polls on May 14 because of a lack of funds and security personnel.

The electoral authority added that it had written a letter to the federation for providing Pakistan Army, Frontier Corps and Rangers personnel, but did not receive a reply.

The ECP added that April 18 was the last date to make payment for the printing of ballot papers. "Printing of electoral rolls with photographs is already delayed," it stated.

During a subsequent hearing on the implementation of its order, the Supreme Court asked political parties to hold a dialogue on the election date and update it.