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Ahead of Feb 8 election, Pak Election Commission begins delivery of ballot papers

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NewsDrum Desk
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Islamabad, Feb 5 (PTI) With the general election in Pakistan just days away, the delivery of 260 million ballot papers across 859 National Assembly and provincial assembly constituencies has started after taking into account some last-minute candidacy-related petitions, according to a spokesperson of the election commission.

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The February 8 elections are taking place for 336 seats in the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, along with four provincial assemblies.

About 18,000 candidates are in the race for the National Assembly and the four provincial assemblies in Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

The printing of the ballot papers was completed at three government presses, with some papers necessitating reprinting following court decisions on candidacy-related petitions, The Express Tribune newspaper reported on Monday, quoting the spokesperson of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

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This time around, 2,170 tonnes of paper was utilised for the printing process, a substantial increase from 2018. The increased number of ballot papers, totalling 260 million, reflects a 40 million increase from the previous election.

“Despite limited time and challenges, the ECP fulfilled its responsibility, by completing the printing of ballot papers on time,” the spokesperson said.

“The process of delivery of ballot papers has started all over the country and it will be completed by Monday,” the spokesperson added.

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To address any complaints relating to the elections, the ECP has also established the Central Control and Monitoring Centre, which has received 221 complaints of various nature, and 198 of them have been addressed, officials said.

The ECP will relay the election results through the Election Management System (EMS). The official said complaints about the EMS were also received from some returning officers (ROs), adding their issues were being resolved.

Meanwhile, caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi has said more than 120 million people are eligible to exercise their right to vote on February 8, according to state-owned broadcaster PTV.

Solangi said the caretaker government helped the ECP in every way to pave the way for polls. He said the country would be run by its elected representatives, according to the Constitution.

“Elections are just days away. People will choose their representatives by exercising their right to vote,” Solangi added. PTI GSP AKJ AMS

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