After election tribunals wrapped up verdicts on appeals against objections to the decisions of returning officers on June 27, the revised list of candidates was issued on June 28.
The electoral body will announce the final list of candidates later today. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday asked candidates to submit party affiliation certificates by June 29.
It is mandatory for the candidates to submit their party tickets in order to be allotted their electoral symbols. Those who fail to do so will be considered independent candidates. The elections are scheduled to be held on July 25, 2018.
Verdict on Abbasi’s appeal expected today
The Lahore High Court is expected to announce its verdict on former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s appeal against the verdict of an appellate tribunal that disqualified him from contesting the polls from NA-57 Murree.
The appellate election tribunal found Abbasi guilty of “concealing facts and withholding information from voters” in his nomination forms submitted for NA-57 Murree — his home constituency.
In its written verdict, the tribunal said that Abbasi does not meet the requirements under Article 62(1)(f) of the Constitution of Pakistan. The former premier, in a statement to the media, had vowed to challenge the verdict which he said exceeded the mandate of the tribunal.
Preparations of the upcoming elections are under way, with the ECP making arrangments to ensure smooth and transparent elections.
On June 26, the polling scheme for Lahore was finalised, which contained constituency-wise lists of polling stations, number of registered voters, and other relevant details. Similar schemes for other areas are yet to be announced.
The printing of ballot papers will commence from July 1 at printing presses in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi under the supervision of the army. According to sources, 210 million ballot papers will be printed with more than Rs2 billion being spent on the exercise, making it the most expensive venture in the history of the country’s elections.
The ballot papers are said to carry a watermark, something which none of the previous papers had. The distribution of ballot papers will also be conducted under the army’s supervision.
The ECP has also requested the Defence Ministry to deploy 350,000 army personnel to be posted inside and outside the polling stations. The troops will be deployed for a total of four days leading upto the election day.
ECP has also ordered provincial governments to provide security to all candidates and political leaders. The commission, in a letter to all four provincial governments, has directed the respective chief secretaries to ensure security arrangements for the candidates and leaders of political parties, sources privy to the matter said.
The ECP has also asked the relevant authorities to install CCTV cameras in sensitive polling stations for monitoring.