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Old Tuesday, September 11, 2007
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Default Election commission of Pakistan

Introduction

Pakistan is a Federal Republic and is known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It came into existence on 14th August, 1947. The territories of Pakistan comprise the provinces of Punjab, Sindh, North-West Frontier and Balochistan, the Islamabad Capital Territory i.e. the Federal Capital, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATAs) and such states and territories as are or may be included in Pakistan whether by accession or otherwise. It has a population of approximate 160 Million and a territory spread over 7,96,096 square kilometers.


The Election Commission of Pakistan was created on 23rd March 1956 under the Article 137 of the Constitution of 1956 with the Chief Election Commissioner as its head. The first Chief Election Commissioner was appointed on 25th June 1956. The Election Commission of Pakistan is an independent and autonomous constitutional body charged with the function of conducting transparent, free, fair and impartial elections to the National and Provincial Assemblies. The holding of elections to the office of the President and the Senate are, however, the functions of the Chief Election Commissioner. Under the existing laws the conduct of Local Government Elections is also the responsibility of the Chief Election Commissioner.




FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q 1. What is the minimum age for enrollment as a voter?
Ans. 18 Years on the first of January of the year in which the electoral rolls are prepared or revised.

Q 2. What is the qualifying date for enrollment in the electoral rolls 2006?
Ans. The qualifying date for enrollment in fresh Electoral List is 1st January, 2006. Any Pakistani citizen born in the year 1987 is eligible to be enrolled as a voter, however, a person born in the year 1988 would not be enrolled as a voter.

Q 3. Can a non-citizen of Pakistan become a voter?
Ans. No.

Q 4. Can a resident of Azad Kashmir be registered as a voter?
Ans. No. However, a resident of Jummu & Kashmir who has settled in Pakistan is eligible to be enrolled.

Q 5. Can a person declared of unsound mind by a competent court be registered as a voter?
Ans. No

Q 6. If a person works at Islamabad can he be enrolled as a voter in his native village in Tharparkar district?
Ans. Yes, he can be registered as a voter provided he owns or possesses some immovable propriety in that village.


Q 7. Can a person be enrolled at more than one place?
Ans. No a person cannot be enrolled as a voter at more than one place. If he is eligible for enrollment as a voter at more than one place, he will be enrolled only at one place of his choice.

Q 8. When the right of adult franchise was granted to the FATAs?
Ans. During General Elections 1997.

Q 9. If my name does not appear in the preliminary electoral rolls what should I do?
Ans. In that case you may obtain a printed form from the Registration Officer/Assistant Election Commissioner of your area and file it after duly completing with him with Assistant Registration Officer or with Revising Authority before the date announced by Election Commission.

Q 10. If I have any objection to an existing entry or want an existing entry in the electoral roll to be corrected, what should I do?
Ans. Relevant printed forms may be obtained from the Assistant Election Commissioner/Registration Officer of the area and may be filed with him, with the Assistant Registration Officer, or with the Revising Authority concerned. The Revising Authority after summoning the parties will decide the objection or the application for correction.

Q. 12 Can I file an objection against the enrollment of any other person?
Ans. Yes, if you are a registered voter of the same electoral area.

Q. 13 What should I do if I want transfer of my name from one area to another?
Ans. If you are eligible to be enrolled as voter in more than one areas you have the option to be enrolled in the area of your choice. However, if you want to shift your name to another area then you have to apply to the Registration Officer concerned for the deletion of your name from the roll in which you have been registered as voter and thereafter submit an application to the other Registration Officer of the area in which you want to get yourself enrolled.

Q 14. If I find at any time that my name does not appear in the electoral roll of my electoral area what remedy is available to me?
Ans. The Registration Officers/Assistant Election Officers have authority to include a name or to amend the rolls at any time. In such an eventuality an application along with a photo copy of the National Identity Card can be submitted to the Registration Officer who can order the inclusion of names in the rolls if the applicant qualifies for the same.


Q. 15 Can any body get himself enrolled as a voter till the polling day?
Ans. After a constituency is called upon to elect its representative i.e. after announcement of election schedule, no amendment to the electoral roll of that constituency can be made.

Q 16. Can a person get a copy of the electoral roll or an extract from the electoral roll?
Ans. Yes any person can get a copy of electoral roll from the Registration Officer concerned on payment of Rupees Tow per page. Similarly, an extract from the electoral roll can also be obtained from the Registration Officer on payment of Rupees Two in the shape of court fee stamps.

Q 17. Who is the Registration Officer?
Ans. All the Assistant Election Commissioners of the districts are the Registration Officers of their respective districts. At the divisional Headquarters, the Deputy Election Commissioners have also been assigned the urban areas and they are the Registration Officers for the purpose.

Q 18 What is the minimum age for becoming a candidate for National Assembly of Pakistan?
Ans. Twenty five years.

Q19. What is the minimum age for becoming a candidate for a Provincial Assembly?
Ans. 25 years.

Q 20. What is the minimum age for contesting election to the Senate?
Ans. 30 years.

Q 21. What is the minimum age for becoming a candidate for office of the President?
Ans. 45 years.

Q 22. If a person is registered as a voter in Peshawar can he contest election to a National Assembly Constituency from Lahore?
Ans. Yes. For election to National Assembly a person is required to be enrolled on any electoral roll any where in the country.

Q 23. Can a person registered as a voter in Khuzdar (Baluchistan) contest for Provincial Assembly from Mardan (NWFP)?
Ans. No. For election to a Provincial Assembly the candidate should be registered as a voter in that province.

Q 24. If some body is convicted for some offence and he is sentenced to imprisonment for five years can he contest election?
Ans. No if a person is sentenced to imprisonment for at least two years, he cannot contest an election unless a period of five years has elapsed since his release.

Q 25. Whether a person in the service of Pakistan or holding any public office can vote through postal ballot?
Ans. Yes a person in the service of Pakistan or holding a public office can vote through postal ballot paper if he wishes to cast his vote at the constituency of his home town.

Q 26. The family members of a government servant are living with him. Can they also cast their votes by postal ballot?
Ans. Yes if they are registered as voters.

Q 27. How can the polling personnel cast their votes?
Ans. They can also cast their votes through postal ballots within the dates specified by the Election Commission.

Q 28. Whether overseas Pakistanis are eligible to vote?
Ans. Overseas Pakistanis who are present in Pakistan at the time of election can cast their vote at the polling station concerned if they are registered as voters. However, voting from aboard is not permissible under the law.

Q 29. What is the security deposit for election to National Assembly?
Ans. Rupees Four thousand only.

Q 30. What is the Security deposit for election to Provincial Assembly?
Ans. Rupees Two thousand only.

Q 31. Whether the security deposit is refundable?
Ans. Yes, the security deposit is refundable within six month otherwise it shall be forfeited.

Q 32. In what case a candidate loses his security deposits?
Ans. A defeated candidate who received less than one eighth of the total number of votes cast at the election loses his security deposit.

Q 33. Can a person contest election to the National Assembly from as many constituencies as he likes?
Ans. Yes.

Q 34. Can a person retain more than one seats in the National Assembly if he is elected to all such seats?
Ans. No, he has to resign from all seats except one.

Q 35. If a person is elected from the National Assembly as well as a Provincial Assembly seat, can he retain both the seats?
Ans. No he must resign one of the seats.


Q 36. What is the number of proposers and seconders required for subscribing to the nomination of a candidate?
Ans. For each nomination one proposer and one seconder is required.

Q 37. Who can be the proposer or a seconder?
Ans. Any voter of that constituency can propose or second a nomination.

Q 38. How many voters are assigned to a polling station to vote?
Ans. Normally 1000-1200 voters are assigned to a polling station. However, in exceptional cases such number may go up to 1500.

Q 39. How far can a polling station be from your house?
Ans. Normally a polling station is about two kilometers away from the house of a voter

Q 40. How many polling booths are required for a polling station?
Ans. The polling booths are made keeping in view the number of voters assigned to that polling station. However, two to four polling booths are setup at a polling station.

Q 41. The polling booths are made separately for female voters or not?
Ans. Yes. The female voters are assigned separate polling booths.

Q 42. How many nomination papers can be filed by a candidate?
Ans. Not more than five in one constituency.

Q 43. Is it necessary to deposit security for each nomination paper?
Ans. No, security once deposited is enough for all the nominations.

Q 44. Is female polling staff appointed for the female booths?
Ans. Yes Female polling staff is appointed at polling booths in the urban areas but it is not possible to arrange female staff for the female booths in the rural areas.

Q 45. Are separate polling stations setup for female voters?
Ans. Yes. Separate polling stations are setup for female voters in the urban areas but it is not possible to setup female polling stations in the rural areas due to non-availability of female staff. However, separate female booths are provided for female voters.

Q 46. How can a candidate withdraw from the contest?
Ans. A validly nominated candidate can withdraw his candidature by submitting a notice in writing signed by him and delivered to the Returning Officer on or before the withdrawal date fixed by the Election Commission.

Q 47. Can a notice of withdrawal be cancelled?
Ans. A notice of withdrawal in no circumstances can be recalled or cancelled.

Q 48. How can a contesting candidate retire from election?
Ans. A contesting candidate may retire from the contest by a notice in writing signed by him and delivered to the Returning Officer on any day not later than four days before the polling day.

Q 49. Can a notice of retirement be delivered by any person other than the candidate?
Ans. Yes an agent authorized in writing by such candidate can submit the notice of retirement to the Returning Officer.

Q 50 If the name of the candidate appears on the ballot paper after his retirement is accepted, is it necessary to reprint the ballot papers?
Ans. No. The name may appear on the ballot paper.

Q 51. Can a voter mark a ballot paper in open in front of other people sitting in the polling station?
Ans. No. Under the Constitution election is to be held by secret ballot. Therefore, the voter is required to mark/stamp the ballot paper in the screened off compartment in the polling station.

Q 52. How can a blind or incapacitated person vote?
Ans. Where an elector is blind or inc

Q 53. If I go to a polling station and find that some body else has impersonated and cast vote in my place, what can I do?
Ans. The matter should be brought to the notice of the Presiding Officer who after satisfying himself will issue a ballot paper called as "tendered ballot paper" in the same manner as ballot papers are issued to other electors. The tendered ballot paper shall be kept separately.

Q 54. Can any person at the polling station cast the vote after the closing hour of the poll?
Ans. Any person present within the building, room, tent or enclosure in which the polling station is situated and is waiting to vote will be allowed to cast a vote even after the hour fixed for the close of the poll.

Q 55. What remedy is available to a contesting candidate who is not satisfied with the result of the election?
Ans. A candidate can call an election in question by filing an election petition in the manner prescribed under the law. The election petitions will be heard and decided by the Election Tribunals appointed by the Chief Election Commissioner.

Q 56. Some body offers you some money to vote for a candidate. Can you accept such money?
Ans. No. Acceptance of such a money is a corrupt practice which is punishable with imprisonment for a term of three years or with fine up to five thousand rupees or with both.

Q 57. When an election petition can be filed?
Ans. The election petition can be filed within 45 days of the publication of the names of returned candidates in the official gazette.

Q 58. Who can be appointed as an Election Tribunal?
Ans. Normally, sitting Judges of the High Courts are appointed as Election Tribunals.

Q 59. Is the decision of the Election Tribunal final?
Ans. The decision of the Election Tribunal is appeal able before the Supreme Court of Pakistan.







rref. http://www.ecp.gov.pk/

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