ECP finalizes NA-120 by election arrangements

100 biometric machines to be used during polls

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has finalized all arrangements to hold bye-election in NA-120 Lahore-III in a free, fair, transparent and peaceful manner on Sunday.
As many as 44 candidates including 32 independent and 12 ticket holders of different political parties are taking part in the bye-election, said an official of the ECP. Candidates of major political parties included Begum Kalsoom Nawaz from Pakistan Muslim League (N), Faisal Mir from Pakistan Peoples Party and Dr Yasmeen Rashid from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
He said that the constituency has total 3,21,786 registered voters, out of which 1,79,642 are male while 1,42,144 are female voters.
He said that total 220 polling stations including 103 male, 98 female and 19 combined polling station have been set up for bye-election. He added in total 573 polling booths 312 male and 261 female pooling booths have been set up by the ECP.
He said that 220 Presiding Officer, 573 Assistant Presiding Officers and 573 Polling Officers would discharge their duties on the polling day.
He said that seven monitoring teams have been constituted with 20 officials from Islamabad and four provinces for bye-election. These well-equipped teams with having cameras, transport and supporting staff will start their duties from Saturday evening.
He said that these teams will monitor the observance of code of conduct and performance of biometric machines and send report to the ECP.
The official said that these teams will also immediate report to Returning Officer concerned, District Returning Officer, Provincial Election Commissioner Punjab, Central Monitoring Committee Islamabad and the ECP in case of violation of code of conduct in the constituency through telephone, fax, whatsapp or email.
He said that on receiving any such report from the team, the commission will take action. He said that senior officials of ECP’s IT wing are also included in these teams, who will examine the performance and other aspects of BVM machines on technical grounds and send report to the ECP.
He said that the commission was already strictly monitoring the code of conduct for bye-election and never allow any candidate or political party to violate code of conduct.
He said that the commission has already served a notice to the federal and provincial ministers and directed them not to participate in political activities otherwise strict legal action will be taken against them.
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will use 100 biometric voting machines (BVM) on trial basis in 39 polling stations of NA-120 Lahore-III bye-election, to be held on September 17.
According to an official of ECP, these biometric voting machines will be used in 55 male and 45 female polling stations of the constituency of NA-120 with having coverage of total 57,000 voters.
He said that the decision of using BVM machines was taken in order to ensure transparency in the election process while the commission would also examine the use of this facility besides problems in this system.—APP

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