Elections to be held on time: ECP

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NCSW to depute observers in 50 districts to monitor women turnout

Islamabad

The ECP spokesman Sunday said that CCTV cameras would also be installed at sensitives polling stations. Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has reaffirmed its commitment to hold forthcoming general elections on time and in a free, fair and transparent manner. Spokesman to the Election Commission of Pakistan Nadeem Qasim while talking to a news private channel said that all preparations had been completed to conduct general election on time.
He said that around 3,70,000 Pakistan Army personnel would be deputed inside and outside the polling stations across the country, while 17,000 polling stations had been declared sensitive. The spokesman said that CCTV cameras would also be installed at sensitives polling stations. To a question, he said international observers were coming to Pakistan to observe the whole process of general election. The spokesman said ECP was also providing accreditation facility to media and other organizations in this regard.
Meanwhile, it is reported that the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) will depute almost 200 observers in 50 districts around the country to monitor women turnout especially in the constituencies where women voters’ turnout remained less than 10 percent last time or women candidates fielded on general seats.
NCSW has prepared a check list for the specific districts to monitor women polling station are situated at accessible place, enough number of polling booths to be established, provision of basic facilities like washrooms, provision of drinking water, proper facilities for pregnant and women with disabilities, transgenders, old age women, privacy to cast vote and proper security arrangements for women.
Chairperson National Commission on Status of Women, Khawar Mumtaz said they would also endeavour to ensure no pressure should be on women to cast vote from their family members, polling agents or security officials deputed on polling stations. Khawar Mumtaz stated that their observers would conduct one-day pre-election monitoring of the districts they have pointed out and analyse the situation. Another key area under consideration of the commission is there any violence incident in the specific areas and if so, what is its impact on women to cast their vote, she added.
Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN), a non-government organization has offered the commission to train its observers according to NCSW checklist while Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) would also follow the same check list for its team, she told APP. The commission head said all the process would be conducted in collaboration with Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as their sole purpose is to ensure maximum participation of women in the up-coming general elections.
She further informed that they have finalized their lists of observers and forwarded to ECP but they were directed to apply from provinces, for which they have completed documentation and hopefully they would submit it till Monday.
‘We have to consider all the aspects which can influence voting trend of women in the up-coming general elections and clear any hindrance in their way aiming to include them in main stream politics for which voting right is the first step’, she remarked.—APP

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