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ELECTION COMMISSION OF PAKISTAN
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PRESS RELEASE

ECP SOLICITS VIEWS OF POLITICAL PARTIES ON ELECTION SYMBOLS, ARTICLE-62, DELIMITATION OF CONSTITUENCIES, LG ELECTIONS ETC

Islamabad, the 19th February, 2011.-  Mr. Ishtiak Ahmed Khan, Secretary, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has said that the ECP is holding its 3rd high-level consultative meeting with leaders of major political parties on Tuesday, the 22nd Feb. 2011. The ECP will share progress so far made on the decisions of previous meetings in achieving major objectives essential for conducting credible elections and obtain valuable views/feedback of the participants on other relating issues.  He further said that the ECP will hold an EVM demonstration on Wednesday, the 23rd February 2011, wherein, national and international vendors/suppliers/institutions will take part and demonstrate their EVM prototypes before the EVM Committee and leaders of political parties to finalise this matter for enhancing public trust and improving credibility of electoral process.
 
Mr. Ishtiak Ahmed Khan said the ECP will solicit valuable views of the political parties regarding following important issues:
 
1-       Permanent allotment of election symbols to political parties; already approved symbols, addition, deletion proposed in these symbols besides making decisions in consultation with political parties regarding disputed/contested symbols.                                                              
2-         Ways and means to ensure application of Article 62 of the Constitution for the contesting candidates and to see that whether political parties can ensure issuing party tickets only to those candidates who meet the requirements of Article-62.
 
3-         Political Finance: Mechanism to monitor electoral expenditure to enforce the ceilings prescribed in the Rules.
 
4-                 Delimitation of Constituencies after National house-listing and Population Census-2011.    
 
5-                 Introduction of nomination paper booklet.
 
6-                 Electoral System in Pakistan-Sharing recommendations developed in workshop held on 16th August 2010.
 
7-                 Appointment of DRO’s, RO’s and ARO’s from Federal, Provincial Government officers and retired Judicial Officers.
 
8-                 Local government Elections- Amendment in relevant laws-Multi system seat-Party system& single ward system.
 
9-                 Amendment being proposed in the nomination form to obtain information about dual nationality from candidates.
             
 
In this regard, invitation letters have already been sent to the Presidents and Secretary Generals of major political parties that include: Makhdoom Amin Fahim (President) and Raja Pervez Asharf (Secretary General) of PPPP; Raja Zaffar-ul-Haq (President) and Iqbal Zafar Jhagra (Secretary General) of PML-N; Ch. Shujaat Hussain (President) and Mushahid Hussain Syed (Secretary General) of PML-Q; Asfandyar Wali Khan (President) and Mr. Ehsan Wayne (Secretary General) of ANP; Mr. Farooq Sattar (Deputy Convener) of MQM; Syed Mardan Shah Pir Pagara (President) and Shaikh Anwar Saeed (Secretary General) of PML-F; Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman (Ameer) and Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidari (Secretary General) of JUI-F; Syed Munawar Hasan (Ameer) and Liaqat Baloch (Secretary General)  of Jammat-e-Islami Pakistan; Sardar Akhtar Jan Mengal (President) and Habib Jalib Baloch of BNP-Mengal; Mir Israrullah Zehri (President) and Mir Asad Ullah Baloch of BNP-Awami; Nawabzada Tallal Akbar Bugti (President) and Mehta Washeshair Nath Kohli (Secretary General) of Jamhori Watan Party; Dr. Abdul Malik (President) and Mir Tahir Khan Bezinjo (Secretary General) of National Party; Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao (Chairman) and Miss Anisa Zeb Tahirkheli (Secretary General) of PPP-Sherpao; Imran Khan (Chairman) and Dr. Arif Alvi of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and Mahmmod Khan Achakzai (President) and Akram Shah Khan (Secretary General) of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party. In addition, Syed Khursheed Shah, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Ch. Manzoor Ahmed, Political Advisor to the President of Pakistan has also been invited in EVM demonstration.
 
 
Mr. Ishtiak Ahmed Khan said that the ECP has already held two consultative meetings with political parties wherein a number of important electoral issues have been discussed; for example, making CNIC issued by NADRA a mandatory condition for registration of voters as well as casting of vote by amending the relevant law, adoption of Electronic Voting Machine, granting election symbols to political parties on permanent basis and preparation of computerized electoral rolls in collaboration with NADRA etc.
 
He said that the ECP is continuously taking steps to make the electoral process effective, free, fair, transparent and credible to build stakeholder’s trust. The political parties which are the key stakeholders and their participation in democratic process is fundamental to the health of democracy. Therefore, an open and transparent approach on part of the ECP is essential to give the political parties a feeling of inclusiveness in the electoral process.