ECP to consult political parties over PAs elections on Thursday

-Announces schedule for by-Polls on 31 more NA seats

By Ali Imran

ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will hold a consultative meeting with country’s political parties in federal capital on February 9 to discuss, peaceful elections of provincial assemblies, code of ethics and other constitu-tional and legal issues with them and get their feed back for ensuring immaculate elections.
According to ECP spokesperson, the meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja also deliberated the dates of holding elections of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies.
ECP Secretary Omer Hamid Khan briefed the forum about arrangements of the elections of provincial assemblies of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and bye elections in 86 National Assembly constituencies.
ECP members, Secretary and other senior officers attended the meeting. Secretary told the forum that the registrars of Lahore High Court and Peshawar High Courts have been asked to provide the services of judicial officers for holding free, fair upcoming elections of provincial assemblies. The meeting decided to hold another meeting on Tuesday (February 7) in which chief secretaries of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Inspector General Police, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will brief the commission about elections of provincial assemblies, National Assemby bye elections, law and order situation and other issues in their respective ju-risdictions.

Besides, the ECP on Friday announced the schedule for by-elections in 31 more National Assembly constituencies.

According to a notification issued by the election commission, the by-polls on the 31 NA seats would be held on March 19.

The seats fell vacant after the ECP de-notified the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) lawmakers following NA Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf’s acceptance of the lawmakers’ resignations.
It is pertinent to mention here that the ECP announced that it will hold by-polls for 33 vacant National Assembly (NA) seats on March 16.

In a bid to set another record, PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced contesting by-polls on all the 33 NA seats but later on, he backtracked from his decision and decided to field ex-MNAs in their respective constituencies.

Meanwhile, PML-N Senior Vice-President Maryam Nawaz has returned to the homeland and is running an aggressive election campaign in Punjab.
According to the election schedule announced by the ECP, candidates will be able to file their nomination papers be-tween February 10-14.

The names of the candidates will be published on February 15 and the returning officers (ROs) will carry out the scruti-ny of the nomination papers till February 18.

The last date to file appeals against the RO’s decision on the acceptance or rejection of nomination papers is February 22.

According to the election schedule, the last date for the appellate tribunal to decide on the appeals is February 27. Af-ter this, the revised list of candidates will be published on February 28.

The last date to withdraw candidature and release of revised list of candidates is March 1 while the election symbols will be allotted on March 2.