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1,600 nomination papers filed

30 March, 2013

ISLAMABAD: At least 1,600 candidates have filed their nomination papers for the National Assembly and provincial assemblies' seats across the country, it has been learnt.

A senior official at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) informed our sources that by Friday afternoon returning officers posted in 127 districts of the country have updated the ECP on progress on filing of nomination papers.

The official informed that so far 1,600 nomination papers have been filed with the returning officers in all districts.

However, prospective candidates have obtained a good number of nomination papers from returning officers, and there is an expectation that many more will file their nomination papers until March 31.

Keeping in view the situation in Balochistan and other parts of the country, the ECP has allowed extension in deadline for filing of nomination papers by two day from March 29 to March 31. According to the official, returning officers have forwarded a number of nomination papers for initial scrutiny to the ECP and till Friday afternoon the ECP had cleared and returned 300 nomination papers.

According to the procedure, after receipt of the nomination papers the returning officers are forwarding them for initial scrutiny and clearance from the ECP based on online data facility provided by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and National Accountability Bureau.

The ECP has, after initial scrutiny, cleared and returned 300 nomination papers to returning officers across the country, the official informed, adding that because of day-night operations at the district returning officers' offices there would be no difficulty in processing of nomination papers to be received during the last two days, he said.

Meanwhile, ECP Additional Secretary Afzal Khan, while speaking during a training session for polling staff, said that for the first time in the country 500 monitoring teams will be evaluating the elections. He categorically said that those individuals who cast fake votes during the poling would be sent to jail.

Afzal Khan further said that those candidates who violate the election code of conduct would be disqualified. On the capacity-building of the ECP staff, he said that Rs 1.27 billion have been allocated for the 700,000 polling staff. He declared that use of weapons, money and interference of government officials would not be tolerated and returning officers would have powers to punish the violators.

End.

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