Pakistan News

Elections 2018: ECP extends polling time to ensure maximum participation

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday extended polling time by an hour for the upcoming general elections.

In a notification issued on Friday, the ECP said voting would start at 8 am and end at 6 pm. The decision was taken by the electoral body to ensure maximum participation by voters.

Earlier this week, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) had written to the commission seeking an increase in polling time by three hours due to the possibility of hot and humid weather conditions.

In the letter, PTI spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry had stressed that people avoided coming out of their homes between noon and 4:00pm when heat intensity is at its peak. The Imran Khan-led party had asked ECP to extend the time of polling till 8pm to allow more and more people to use their democratic right to vote.

Candidates have until today to withdraw their candidature and the ECP has set June 30 as the last day for the allotment of election symbols.

Earlier this week, the commission approved, in bulk, postings and transfers of bureaucrats in Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan.

The postings have been carried out ahead of the next month’s elections in an attempt to eliminate the chances of these officials exerting any influence in favour of or against any candidate or party.

Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) had highlighted its concerns in several letters sent to the ECP.

As many as 35 deputy commissioners, MDs, DGs and 77 SSPs, AIGs and SPs posted by the previous PML-N government have been transferred in Punjab.

The ECP also okayed transfers and postings of three secretaries, six commissioners, 33 deputy commissioners and various SDPOs in Balochistan.

In Sindh, it approved transfers and postings of 14 secretaries, two AIGs, six commissioners, 33 deputy commissioners, 14 DIGs and various SSPs.

The ECP is yet to receive lists of bureaucrats from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the federal government for transfers and postings. These transfers and posting are highly likely to be finalised once the ECP receives the lists by Thursday (today).

The commission had imposed a ban on postings and transfers after the announcement of the election schedule. All such cases now have to be routed through the ECP for approval.

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