Election date: ECP to ‘consult’ PTI, other major political parties

The front facade of the renovated ECP office in Islamabad. — ECP website

ISLAMABAD: All major political parties, including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), will be consulted by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as part of their process to decide the date of the general elections expected to be held next year in the country, Geo News reported citing sources late Tuesday night.

The political parties, according to the sources, will be separately consulted regarding the election roadmap, while discussions will also entail issues related to delimitation and voter lists that have emerged following the country’s first-ever digital census held earlier this year.

The consultations are expected to start in the next few days, sources mentioned.

The major parties that the electoral watchdog will be holding meetings with include Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Awami National Party (ANP) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F).

ECP satisfied with RCS

After receiving a briefing on the new Result Compilation System (RCS), a day earlier, the ECP expressed its satisfaction with the mock exercise with regard to its use.

Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja presided over a meeting of the commission at its secretariat in Islamabad, which was attended by members, secretary and other senior officers.

The commission was given a briefing on the RCS, which allows the presiding officer to send the results immediately to the returning officer through a mobile app.

Moreover, returning officers will also be able to compile inconclusive results under this system with quick and accurate data about votes.

According to the election authority’s Media Coordination and Outreach Wing, regular mock exercises were performed on this system, and all stages of the system were checked.

The commission, towards the end, expressed full satisfaction with the system.

In recent years, the commission has come up with some systems in relation to dealing with election results, which include result transmission and management systems.

Besides, the commission also reviewed the work relating to the delimitation of constituencies of the National Assembly and four provincial assemblies in light of the first-ever digital census in 2023.

In this connection, the commission has also sent necessary communications to the provincial governments and the statistics department.

Likewise, meetings have also been held with concerned agencies that, via phone call, have also been reminded to immediately provide necessary maps and other data to the commission to initiate the process of delimitation.

To carry out fresh delimitations, the five delimitation committees, notified on Monday, will receive districts’ maps and necessary data from the federal capital and provinces until August 31.