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NA committee wants census, delimitations and then LG polls

15 January, 2014

ISLAMABAD: National Assembly's Standing Committee for Parliamentary Affairs has recommended a census followed by new delimitations, after which ECP (Election Commission of Pakistan), should announce a new local government election schedule.

A meeting of the committee convened by Mian Abdul Manan on Monday at the Parliament House deliberated over issues like identification of votes through thumb impressions of voters, and regulations for empowering the standing committees.

During the session, ECP informed the committee that 7%-70% of votes were not bogus, yet were non-verified, since use of sub-standard electoral ink had made them illegible and hard to discern. ECP Secretary Sher Afgan said that rigged elections were a standard accusation, since losing candidates always cried foul, never agreeing with any verdict of the ECP.

He also disclosed that the ECP operated a training academy for polling staff in collaboration with UNDP, and the commission has requested a one-acre plot for construction of a permanent academy. The committee was briefed by Dr Sher Afgan that the next general elections of 2018 would be conducted through electronic voting machines, whose feasibility report had been readied.

This machine would do dual job of voting as well as identifying the voter(s), and even finalising the results. The committee has summoned detailed report about this machine in its next meeting.


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