The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has designed a reliable Result Management System (RMS) to improve accuracy, efficiency and transparency of the results tabulation process in upcoming General Elections 2018. The RMS has capacity to store all the scan pages of Forms-XIV, XVI & XVII along with data stored into the database permanently for Audit trail accountability purposes. Listing the steps being taken to improve overall working of the Commission, official sources on Sunday said Data Bank of officers and officials has already been prepared for onward appointment as Presiding Officers, Assistant Presiding Officers and Polling Officers to facilitate their training well before elections. Independent Monitoring Wing has been established in the ECP to oversee pre-poll, post poll activities and point out illegal practices, including huge spending on Electoral exercises in violation of Law.
The sources said that interaction with Political Parties and Civil Society organizations were held for preparation and finalization of existing Code of Conduct to get their feedback/suggestions for making improvement in election process. They said that as many as 130 District Voters Education Committees are formed to motivate general public, especially women and specifically rural women, persons with disabilities, transgender and other marginalized groups with help of civil society organizations, notables of area and relevant departments in each district to take part in electoral activities including registration of votes.
Thirty more warehouses are being established across the country at each divisional level to safeguard election material. Election Commission of Pakistan has successfully conducted GIS survey of all polling stations upto 71,000 across the country. Now a days extension work is under progress of adding additional polling stations for preparation of General Elections, 2018. An exclusive gender wing has been established in the ECP to encourage inclusion of female staff at ECP, develop strategies and implementation plans for reducing gender disparity, conduct research to identify barriers for women and marginalized sections of society from participation in electoral process and develop a mechanism to electoral process. The ECP has developed gender sensitive curriculum/material for training of polling staff on gender issues faced during the poll day.
ECP has engaged National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to focus on those electoral areas where women registration is less than 40 % as compared to men. To increase the number of women candidates, the Electoral Law 2017 makes it mandatory for political parties to allocate 5 % of the tickets to women contestants. NADRA has been asked to send Mobile Registration Vans (MRVs) for issuing of National Identity Cards to women in less registered areas. The data of less registered women has also been shared with District Voter Education Committee to raise awareness for grassroots communities and facilitate the women in far flung areas to get registered as voters.—APP