ECP rejects political parties' request to extend polling time

05:09 PM | 25 Jul, 2018
ECP rejects political parties' request to extend polling time
LAHORE - The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday turned down a request made by the various political parties, seeking one-hour extension in the polling time.

The chief election commissioner presided over a meeting in Islamabad, which was attended by the ECP secretary and four members of the electoral body.

Before taking the final decision, the ECP also sought suggestions from all the four provincial election commissioners. Announcing the decision, it added: "Polling time was already extended by one hour".

In a press release, it added that all voters present in the polling station at 6pm will be allowed to cast their votes but people will not be allowed to enter the premises of the polling stations.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Awami Muslim League and other political parties had moved the electoral to extend the time till 7pm.

Earlier today, the PML-N also sent a letter to the ECP asking it to extend the polling time citing the slack procedure.

According to a letter forwarded by Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed to the electoral body, the request has been made citing that only three to four constituents are allowed to cast their votes at a time.

The embattled party has also quoted section 70 of the Election Act 2017 which authorizes ECP to 'extend polling hours already fixed'.

The PML-N leader has requested the electoral watchdog to extend the time by one hour, from 6 pm to 7 pm so that the voters can use their right to franchise.

We are receiving complaints on a large-scale nationwide and PML-N would appreciate if this demand of the voters is accepted to ensure that the elections are free, fair and transparent so that all the voters desirous of casting their votes are not deprived of that fundamental right, stated the letter forwarded by the Senator.

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The Election Commission of Pakistan had earlier extended the polling time from 5 pm to 6 pm in June in order to facilitate the voters.