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Saturday, February 24, 2024

    ECP Begins Provision of Postal Ballots for Upcoming Elections

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    The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has announced that it has started the process of providing postal ballot papers ahead of the upcoming general elections. The ECP has set January 22 as the deadline for eligible individuals to complete the process of casting their votes through the postal ballot. The electoral authority has made an application form for the postal ballot available on its website. Once the postal ballot is received, the voter must send their vote to the Returning Officer (RO) within the prescribed time. The general elections in Pakistan are scheduled to take place on February 8, and the ECP is working to ensure foolproof arrangements across the country.

    To ensure strict security measures are in place ahead of the polls, the ECP has issued its “Code of Conduct for Security Personnel,” warning them against bias while on election duty. The ECP’s protocol directs law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to perform their duties by the law and within the confines of the mandate assigned to the police. Security personnel, who will provide security for the printing and transport of ballot papers along with the polling bags, will perform their duties under Article 220 of the Constitution of Pakistan, Section 5 read with Section 193 of the Election Act, 2017.

    The ECP has stressed the need for LEAs to “remain impartial and neutral throughout the election process […] and shall not act in favor of or against any political party or candidate in any manner whatsoever.” The electoral body has warned security personnel against disallowing a voter to cast their vote, underscoring the significance of ensuring a peaceful and transparent polling process. The ECP has excluded the Armed Forces and Civil Armed Forces from its protocol. The ECP has directed the security apparatus to cooperate with district returning officers (DROs), returning officers (ROs), and presiding officers (POs).

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