Election board of the Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) has announced that only lawyers registered with a biometric system would be able to vote during the February 27 elections.
“Unlike previous bar elections, no one will be allowed to vote manually this year,” Advocate Shahzad Shaukat, the election board chairman, told a press conference on Friday. Shaukat appealed to lawyers to register with the biometric system prepared by the bar. He said four mobile teams had been formed for the biometric registration of lawyers. He said of the 21,414 voters, 11,469 were registered with the system. The highest number of unregistered voters was in Lahore (4,305), he said.
Of the 26,431 bar members, 1,307 are women voters.
Those who became bar members after August 28, 2015, are not eligible to vote because Pakistan Bar Council has announced that a member needs to be registered with the LHCBA for at least six months to be able to participate in the elections. The last date for clearing bar dues was December 31. There were 19,672 voter members in 2015.
Shaukat said 58 machines would be installed at three locations to facilitate voting. Balloting will be held from 9am to 5pm with a lunch break of an hour. Only lawyers would be allowed on the LHC premises on February 27, he said. He said a voter must bring his national identity card (CNIC) and the bar membership card with him. Copies of cards would not be acceptable.
Presidential candidates are required to submit an election fee of Rs300,000, candidates for vice president and secretary Rs200,000 and those for finance secretary Rs100,000. The charges have been doubled this year.To a question regarding an increase in election fees, Shaukat said they did not want to burden bar funds with election-related expenditures. “Candidates should bear the cost of the elections,” he said.
Shaukat said the money would help the election board meet election expenditures.
Muhammad Ramazan Chaudhry and Rana Ziaur Rehman are vying for president. Six candidates are in the run for vice president. They are Sheikh Sakhawat, MR Awan, Sardar Tahir Shahbaz Khan, Muhammad Saleem, Mian Waseem and Rashid Lodhi. Four candidates are in the field for secretary. They are Jawad Ashraf, Uzma Razzaq Khan, Anas Ghazi and Sharjeel Adnan Sheikh. Syed Asad Bukhari, Deeba Khan and Muhammad Zeeshan Amir are vying for finance secretary.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2016.
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