Tag Archives: #Elections in Pakistan

Shehbaz pledges to develop Kasur District as Lahore

Kasur: President of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Shahbaz Sharif has pledged to develop Kasur District as Lahore.

Addressing a public gathering in Kasur, Shahbaz Sharif has said, “Khuddian, you have choose me as a candidate for the National Assembly from this constituency along with the great elders, young comrades, and my sisters. I have heard since childhood that Khuddian is in my blood, my caste, and my home.”

He expressed gratitude and said, “If you make me successful with your vote from here, I want to say with humility that under Nawaz Sharif’s leadership, we will turn Kasur district into Lahore. I want to thank you for coming out in large numbers for this election campaign, this is the last rally of this election campaign.”

Former Prime Minister added, “I have counted the three times Nawaz Sharif served as Prime Minister of Pakistan everywhere. On one hand, there is Nawaz Sharif’s service, and on the other hand, there is fraud and deceit. On one hand, Nawaz Sharif loves the country, on the other hand, there are those who oppose Pakistan. The person who seeks the well-being of the country is Nawaz Sharif. On one hand, there are those who sit idle, on the other hand, there are those who made Pakistan a nuclear power on May 28. Our neighbors cannot see us with good intentions.”

Shahbaz Sharif highlighted Nawaz Sharif’s resilience during tough times, stating, “Whenever a tough time came upon Pakistan in the past, when Nawaz Sharif became Prime Minister for the first time, a massive flood hit Pakistan. I testify to Nawaz Sharif‘s resilience until he went into the sea and rebuilt homes, and when there was another flood here, people were walking in long marches.”

He further added, “The sun that rises on February 9 will set on May 9. You have to decide whether you want to take a basket of troubles with you or educate your children, or follow a person who taught the nation to swear and spread hatred.”

Shahbaz Sharif emphasized, “Nawaz Sharif never called any military ruler ‘Mir Jafar’. Who is the leader whose posters are seen all over Pakistan for development projects? Nawaz Sharif left his case to Allah and never set fire to any memorable object or resorted to black magic.”

Read more: May 9 incident a conspiracy against Gen Asim Munir: Shehbaz Sharif

Shahbaz Sharif also commented on the political situation in Sindh, stating, “A kind-hearted politician in Sindh told me that the PML-N did not hold any rally in Karachi and Sindh. Your performance is doing the work of our rallies. You say you will turn Karachi into Lahore, so what’s left behind for me?”

General Elections 2024: What are Form 45, Form 46, Form 47, Form 48 and Form 49?

ISLAMABAD: Two days remaining until Pakistan’s general elections on February 8, it’s crucial to understand the significance of several forms that play a vital role in the election process.

Form 45: Result of the Count Form 45, commonly referred to as the “Result of the Count,” contains essential information about the polling station, including the polling station number, constituency name, total registered voters, total votes cast, and detailed breakdown of votes received by each candidate. Candidates can independently verify their received votes through Form 45.

Form 46: Ballot Papers Account Form 46 provides details about the number of ballot papers received at the polling station, the number of ballot papers issued from the ballot boxes, and the number of challenged, incorrect, and canceled ballot papers. Additionally, Form 46 includes information about any irregularities in the voting process.

Form 47: Rejected Votes Form 47 contains information about the unofficial results of the electoral constituency, including the number of rejected votes and the breakdown of votes for each candidate.

Form 48: Consolidation of Results Form 48 is crucial in the preparation of election results as it includes the total number of votes cast for each candidate in a constituency.

Form 49: Final and Official Results Form 49, also known as the Gazetted Form, comprises the final and official results of the election. It includes the names of candidates, their affiliated political parties, and the total votes received in the electoral constituency.

Read more: ECP completes training of staff for General Elections 2024

These forms are integral components of the electoral process in Pakistan, providing transparency and accountability in the tabulation and announcement of election results. As the country prepares for the upcoming general elections, understanding the significance of these forms is essential for ensuring a fair and democratic electoral process.

Here’s the expected weather for Pakistan on Election day, February 8

ISLAMABAD: As the nation gears up for the upcoming election on February 8, weather analysts predict a reprieve from rain in the majority of the country, ensuring smooth polling processes across various regions. Chief Meteorologist Sardar Sarfaraz, in a recent statement to a private news channel, assured citizens of clear and dry weather conditions prevailing in most parts of the country on the pivotal election day.

While addressing concerns regarding potential disruptions due to inclement weather, Sarfaraz emphasized that although light rain may occur in western areas of Sindh and Balochistan on February 7, it is not expected to significantly impact election proceedings. He further elaborated that any lingering rain systems would dissipate within 24 hours, with Punjab and Balochistan experiencing only light to moderate precipitation.

The announcement comes amidst ongoing challenges faced by Karachi, where heavy downpours have inundated several areas for the second consecutive day. Residents of North Karachi, Superhighway, Bufferzone, and other localities continue to grapple with the aftermath of intense rainfall, which has resulted in waterlogging and disrupted power supplies across the city.

The Meteorological Department has reported the persistence of nimbus clouds in central and northern areas of Karachi, leading to intermittent rainfall throughout the day. Despite these challenges, authorities remain vigilant, ensuring essential services are restored promptly to affected areas.

Read more: Election Duty List 2024; Complete List Unveiled

This recent spell of rainfall in Karachi, described as the most significant in February in over four decades, has highlighted the city’s vulnerability to weather extremes. Reports indicate that overflowing sewage lines compounded the situation, infiltrating homes and hospitals and exacerbating the impact of the heavy rainfall on residents.

Internet Services To Remain Suspended in These Areas on Election Day

Quetta: In preparation for the upcoming General Elections 2024 in Balochistan, the caretaker government has announced measures to enhance security and ensure the safety of civilians. Caretaker Information Minister Jan Achakzai revealed that internet services will be temporarily suspended around sensitive polling stations in the province on February 8th, 2024. This decision comes in response to terrorism alerts, with concerns that terrorists might utilize social media platforms for communication and planning violent activities during the elections.

The temporary suspension of internet services will be enforced in key areas such as Turbat, Mach, Chaman, and others. This step aims to prevent potential security threats and maintain peace during the electoral process. Jan Achakzai emphasized that the caretaker government is prioritizing the safety of citizens, and these measures are essential to counter any potential risks posed by terrorist activities.

Earlier, the Balochistan government had already imposed restrictions on public meetings and election gatherings due to terrorism threats. Caretaker Information Minister Jan Achakzai announced the ban on social media, highlighting the presence of a suspected woman suicide bomber in Balochistan’s administrative center. These proactive security measures demonstrate the government’s commitment to ensuring a secure and peaceful electoral environment for the people of Balochistan.

Read more: Security personnel repel a BLA attack in the Mach region of Balochistan

ECP imposes fine for code of conduct violations, Here’s all details

Islamabad: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has taken decisive action against violations of the Election Code of Conduct, demonstrating its unwavering commitment to upholding electoral integrity.

Under the vigilant oversight of District Monitoring Officers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, strict enforcement measures have been implemented, resulting in the issuance of notices and imposition of fines on errant candidates and officials.

In a recent development, the District Monitoring Officers have imposed fines totaling Rs966,000 on individuals found guilty of breaching the Election Code of Conduct across various divisions:

  • In Peshawar Division, candidates incurred fines amounting to Rs95,000.
  • Malakand Division witnessed fines totaling Rs300,000 for violations.
  • Hazara Division saw penalties totaling Rs171,000 imposed on violators.
  • Mardan Division accounted for fines worth Rs105,000.
  • Kohat Division faced penalties amounting to Rs115,000.
  • Bannu Division incurred fines of Rs30,000.
  • Dera Ismail Khan Division witnessed the highest fine of Rs150,000 imposed on violators.

This robust enforcement of electoral regulations underscores the ECP’s steadfast commitment to maintaining a level playing field for all candidates, ensuring transparency and fairness throughout the electoral process.

By holding accountable those who flout the Election Code of Conduct, the ECP sends a clear message that violations will not be tolerated, and that the integrity of the electoral process will be safeguarded at all costs.

Read more: Election 2024: Ballot papers Printing to be completed by Feb 2: ECP

This proactive approach to monitoring and enforcement serves to bolster public confidence in the electoral system, reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment to democracy and the rule of law.

As the nation looks ahead to future electoral events, the ECP’s unwavering dedication to upholding democratic principles remains a beacon of hope, ensuring that every citizen’s voice is heard and every vote counts in shaping the country’s future.

ECP invites int’l observers, media to monitor upcoming general elections

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday gave another indication that it would be holding elections in January as it extended an invite to international observers and media to monitor poll process to ensure transparency and impartiality.

In a two-page invite, sent under Section 238 of the Elections Act, 2017, the ECP explained the process for international observers and media to avail accreditation cards and visas to enter the country for the nationwide polls.

“The Election Commission has announced General Election is tentatively scheduled in the last week of January 2024. The Election Commission of Pakistan, has an Open Door Policy for accreditation of any national and international Observer subject to the fulfillment of codal formalities (Section 238 of the Elections Act 2017),” said the ECP.

The law makes it clear that observers will not be allowed to monitor polls till they have an accreditation which will be issued after the relevant documents and security clearance have been granted.

For the visa process, the ECP has explained that it may be obtained via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ “Pakistan Online Portal”. Along with the visa application, those wishing to come to the country for the polls will also need to attach the “accreditation application form” that is available on the ECP’s website.

“After completion of codal formalities as per law, ECP will issue accreditation cards to security cleared international observers/media and arrange briefings for observers in ECP Secretariat,” added the commission. It also advised them to follow the advisories of the Foreign Office and the interior ministry.

“We believe that the presence of international observers will add a valuable dimension to the electoral process, ensuring its transparency and impartiality while lending credibility to our electoral process. In this connection, all necessary arrangements will be made available for international observers to carry out their duties effectively and independently,” said the ECP.

Read more: PTI chief moves IHC for suspension of Toshakhana verdict to overturn ECP disqualification

The watchdog hoped that the international observers and media would give a “positive and valuable output” during the “important event” in Pakistan’s “democratic history”.

The country has been gripped in political uncertainty ever since the Imran Khan government was removed through a no-confidence motion in April 2022.

A coalition government that took over after Imran Khan’s ouster dissolved the National Assembly on August 9.

Following the premature dissolution of national and provincial assemblies, the ECP was required to hold elections within the 90-day time period, meaning the polls should take place no later than November 6.

However, the ECP said it was constitutionally bound to draw fresh boundaries ahead of the elections as the Council of Common Interest (CCI) had approved the census, hence holding elections within the stipulated time period was not possible.

Key political parties including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and others urged the ECP to hold polls at the earliest to end prevailing uncertainty in the country.

The United States and the United Kingdom have also called for free, fair and timely elections in the country.

But in September the uncertainty ended to an extent after the Election Commission announced that it would hold polls in the country in the last week of January.

General elections to take place January 2024

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced on Thursday that general elections in the country will take place in the last week of January 2024.

The electoral body said a preliminary list of delimitations, which are being carried out in line with the new census, will be published on September 27.

The ECP said it reviewed the progress on the delimitation process today and decided that the final list of constituencies will be published on November 30 after hearing the objections and suggestions related to the delimitations.

Subsequently, the polls will be held in the last week of January 2024 following the completion of the 54-day election schedule, the ECP statement added.

The ECP’s statement finally ended the uncertainty surrounding the elections as the previous Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government’s move to approve a new census mandated the electoral body to carry out new delimitation before holding polls, sparking fears of an undue delay in polls.

Read more: Registered voters in Pakistan jump to 127m: ECP

Following the premature dissolution of national and provincial assemblies earlier in August this year, the ECP was required to hold elections within 90-day stipulated time period, meaning the polls should take place no later than November 6.

However, the ECP said it was constitutionally bound to draw fresh boundaries ahead of the elections, hence holding elections within a 90-day time period was not possible.

Key political parties including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), and others also urged the Election Commission to hold polls at the earliest to end prevailing uncertainty in the country.

The United States and the United Kingdom have also called for free, fair and timely elections in the country.

Last month, US Ambassador Donald Blome also met CEC Sikander Sultan Raja to reaffirm his country’s support for “free and fair elections”, reiterating that choosing Pakistan’s future leaders is for the Pakistani people to decide.

The development came days after President Arif Alvi suggested a cut-off date for the holding of polls in a letter to CEC Raja.

The president had said that in the light of Article 48(5) of the Constitution, he has the authority and mandate “to appoint a date not later than 90 days from the date of dissolution [of assemblies], for holding of a general election to the assembly.”

[…] in terms of Article 48(5) the general election to the National Assembly should be held by the eighty-ninth day of the date of dissolution of the National Assembly, i.e. Monday 6th Day of November 2023,” the letter stated.

However, the ECP had maintained that the president was no longer empowered to fix the date for polls after amendments in election laws.

Registered voters in Pakistan jump to 127m: ECP

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Tuesday released its countrywide voter data from 2018 to 2023, showing a substantial growth in the number of registered voters across the country.

According to the electoral watchdog’s calculations conducted in July this year, the number of voters has risen from 105.95 million (105,955,409) in 2018 to almost 127 million (126,980,272) in 2023.

As per a further breakdown of the statistics, there are now more than 68.50 million (68,508,258) male voters and approximately 58.47 million (58,472,014) female voters in 2023.

The provincial breakdown of the data reveals a noteworthy surge in voter numbers in Islamabad, with a jump from 765,447 in 2018 to over 1.04 million (1,041,554) for the current year, the ECP mentioned in its released statistics.

The total number of voters in Punjab reached 72.3 million (72,310,582) this year, while the number was 60.6 million (60,672,771) in 2018.

In Sindh, the number has seen an increase from 22.3 million (22,391, 244) in 2018 to 26.6 million (26,651,161) in 2023.

In 2018, the number of voters in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the then-Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) was 10.53 million (15,314,659) and 2.5 million (2,512,284), respectively. It has now increased to 20.169 million (21,692,381) in 2023.

The number in Balochistan has reached 5.28 million (5,284,594) in 2023, from the 4.29 million (4,299,494) voters in 2018.

Read more: In consultation meeting, MQM-P backs ECP on holding elections post-delimitation

Earlier this month, the electoral body announced finalising the delimitation process by November 30.

In a statement, the electoral body said the purpose of squeezing the duration of the delimitation process is to ensure elections are held as early as possible.

The ECP also said that a date for the elections will also be announced keeping in view the schedule for the delimitation process, adding that the date was announced after deliberation with the parties.

Election Commission said that polls would be held by mid-February at the most or by January end if the delimitation of constituencies is completed earlier.

The ECP, on August 17, announced that the delimitation would be carried out as per the new census approved by the Council of Common Interest (CCI) last month.

Supreme Court returns PTI plea seeking elections within 90 days

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) petition seeking nationwide elections in the country within 90 days was returned by the registrar of the Supreme Court with objections on Thursday.

The plea was returned as the former ruling failed to approach the relevant forums before coming to the apex court.

The PTI had also included President Arif Alvi as a respondent but the registrar was of the view that the head of the state cannot be made part of the petition under Article 248.

“The petition did not mention which fundamental right of the petitioner was violated. The petition does not meet the requirements seeking the court’s intervention under Article 184/3,” the registrar of the Supreme Court further said.

Last month, the PTI had moved the top court seeking its directives to hold general elections in the country within 90 days of the dissolution of the National Assembly.

The petitioner, who is PTI’s Secretary General Omar Ayyub, requested the apex court to direct President Alvi to give a date for the polls and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to issue an election schedule accordingly.

The petition was filed under Article 184(3) of the Constitution prays to declare as illegal and void ab initio the decision of the Council of Common Interest (CCI) dated August 5, 2023, approving the census.

This was the second petition filed with the apex court.

Earlier, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Abid S Zubairi had filed the same petition in the apex court.

Read more: PTI to move Supreme Court over army, secrets bills signing controversy

Filed through Barrister Ali Zafar, the PTI petition also seeks that the notification by the Bureau of Statistics dated August 8, 2023, be declared illegal, unlawful, and void ab initio, while the delimitation exercise proposed to be taken by the ECP, dated August 17, 2023, be declared illegal, unlawful, and void ab initio as well.

“Section 57(1) of the Election Act, 2017, providing that the date of elections is to be fixed by the ECP may be declared to be ultra vires the Constitution and being contrary to Articles 48(5)(a), 58(1), 105(3)(a), 112(1), and 224,” wherein it is stated that the president or governor is to set the date of elections after dissolution by them on the advice of the prime minister or chief minister, the PTI had prayed.

The PTI had made the ECP, the federation, the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, the Council of Common Interest (CCI), the chief secretaries of Punjab, Khyber, Sindh, Balochistan, and other respondents.

The PTI had further prayed to the apex court that the Sindh governor may also be required to announce the date of elections within 90 days of the dissolution of the Sindh Assembly and the ECP be directed to issue the election schedule accordingly, and same for the Balochistan province.

Meanwhile, the elections to the Punjab and KP assemblies may be held according to the judgments of this court and within a time frame fixed by the court, it had added.

The PTI had submitted that, vexatiously, the census is being used by the ECP as an excuse to delay the elections to the National Assembly, as shown by the ECP in its reply dated August 24, 2023, to the letter of the president dated August 23, 2023.

A day earlier, President Alvi had suggested a cut-off date for the holding of polls in a letter to the chief election commissioner (CEC). He said that in the light of Article 48(5) of the Constitution, he has the authority and mandate “to appoint a date not later than 90 days from the date of dissolution [of assemblies], for holding of a general election to the assembly.”

The president had said that the National Assembly was dissolved by him on the advice of the then-prime minister Shehbaz Sharif on August 9, 2023.

[…] in terms of Article 48(5) the general election to the National Assembly should be held by the eighty-ninth day of the date of dissolution of the National Assembly, i.e. Monday 6th Day of November 2023,” the letter had stated.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-led (PML-N) coalition government dissolved the National Assembly on August 9 while the Sindh and Balochistan assemblies were also prematurely dissolved to allow the electoral authority to hold elections in the country within 90 days instead of 60 days if the legislature completed its constitutional tenure.

If the elections are to be held within the 90-day limit, then the polls are due on November 9, 2023.

However, before dissolving the assemblies the coalition government in a Council of Common Interest (CCI) meeting had unanimously approved the 7th Population and Housing Census 2023.

According to Article 51 (5) of the Constitution, the seats of the National Assembly to each province and the federal capital shall be allocated on the basis of population as per the new census.

Following CCI’s approval, the ECP on August 17 announced the schedule of new delimitations which exceeded the November 9th 90-day constitutional limit, almost making sure that the elections are likely to be held post the 90-day mark.