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Thursday June 20, 2024

Millions of Pakistanis won't be able to vote in next polls?

ECP refutes news report that was "replete with inaccuracies and false information"

By APP
October 13, 2023
Pakistani election officials count ballots after polls closed at a polling station in Rawalpindi on July 25, 2018. — AFP
Pakistani election officials count ballots after polls closed at a polling station in Rawalpindi on July 25, 2018. — AFP

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has rebutted a news report that was "replete with inaccuracies and false information, incorrectly" claiming that around 13 million people would not be able to cast their votes in the next general polls.

ECP spokesperson, in a statement, said that the news report featured in Friday's edition of a renowned daily newspaper is "saturated with inaccuracies and misinformation".

The spokesperson clarified that voters' registration was based on their permanent or current address as per their computerised National Identity Card (CNIC), and this process has no connection to population statistics.

"A census requires a person's physical presence, whereas, voter registration is based on the address specified on the CNIC with no connection to population statistics," he said.

Additionally, the election commission has lifted the freeze on electoral rolls, effective from September 28, ensuring the registration of all eligible individuals.

This freeze had been in place since July 20, 2017, under the provisions of Section 39 of the Elections Act, 2017.

He mentioned that the election commission was consistently raising public awareness regarding voter registration, exclusions, and accuracy through daily media campaigns, and this will continue until October 25, 2023.

Additionally, the election commission has acquired data for over 800,000 individuals who were issued CNICs by NADRA on October 1, 2023.

Data entry is currently underway, guaranteeing that all these eligible citizens can participate in the upcoming general elections and cast their respective votes, the spokesperson said.

Furthermore, the election commission has fixed October 25, 2023, as the final date for voter registration, exclusions, and verifications.

Consequently, individuals who would obtain their CNICs by October 25, 2023, can be confident about their eligibility to get their respective votes registered.

He mentioned that the election commission was fully conscious of its constitutional and legal obligations, as well as the rights of the voters.

The process of constituency delimitation will not infringe upon the voter's rights.