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December 8, 2020

ECP an independent constitutional body: CEC

 
December 8, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja on Monday said the registration of all eligible voters in the right constituencies has been ensured as per the law and all eligible voters have been registered.

“These steps of the Election Commission of Pakistan have significantly increased the number of voters. They were 112 million and now they are 115 million,” he said while speaking here at a function held on the National Voters’ Day at the Election Commission Secretariat. The function was attended by Election Commission, UNDP and International Foundation for Electoral Systems officials.

The prime objective, the CEC pointed out, of the NVD is to raise awareness about democratic rights and responsibilities so that people could be part of the democratic process besides ensuring transparent and peaceful elections. He noted that the Election Commission of Pakistan is an independent constitutional body whose duties include ensuring fair and impartial conduct of elections.

He regretted that despite submitting PC-I of different ECP projects in the Planning Division, not a single project was included in the PSDP of the current financial year. He said the federal government is sensitized about this and hopefully, the projects for which the ECP had purchased land from the provinces would be approved. The ECP, he noted, is making efforts for the construction of an official residence of the chief election commissioner after the federal government spared land for this purpose. He explained the ECP had a total of 164 countrywide offices but barring the Commission Secretariat, three provincial commission offices and one regional office in Dera Ghazi Khan, the rest are in rented buildings and hence lack proper facilities.

He said one of the important responsibilities of the ECP is to hold local body elections in a timely manner under Articles 219, 140 (A) of the Constitution of Pakistan and Section 219 of the Election Act 2017. In the context of COVID-19, the ECP is in touch with the NCOC regarding the conduct of elections. In the light of NCOC recommendations, the holding of elections till January 31, 2021 has been stopped due to COVID-19. He said under the Strategic Plan 2023-2019 of the Election Commission, the election operation is being improved, the votes of all eligible persons are being registered and steps are being taken regarding public and voter education. New technology is being used. The chief election commissioner said that in July 2020, “We launched a pilot project in 21 Tehsils of 21 districts and 229 statistical block codes to find out reasons for the significant discrepancy in the voter lists. The pilot project is in the process of completion. The CEC said the commission has introduced online cms.ecp.gov.pk Complaint Management System. Under this system, it is being ensured that people are given immediate relief in case of any difficulty. He said any citizen of Pakistan can get details of his vote by sending an SMS of his ID card number to 8300.

Later, he inaugurated 051-8848888 for the convenience of people. Necessary information and assistance regarding the Election Commission can be obtained through this system.