SC orders ECP to accommodate overseas citizens in by-polls

Published: August 9, 2018
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A Pakistani election official carries ballot boxes at a distribution centre in Islamabad on July 24. PHOTO:AFP

A Pakistani election official carries ballot boxes at a distribution centre in Islamabad on July 24. PHOTO:AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to devise a method enabling overseas Pakistanis to vote in by-polls.

The three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, called for such a mechanism to be ready before Eid.

ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob requested that overseas citizens be allowed to exercise their right to vote in a limited number of constituencies. The bench rejected the plea and said their right must extend to all constituencies but that the votes should be separated as done with postal ballot papers.

ECP, Nadra to develop electronic result transmission system

With regards to the failure of the Result Transmission System (RTS), Yaqoob said the system was “slow” and the 2018 elections were the fifth largest in the world.

The case is adjourned till August 15.

Earlier on Wednesday, Senator Rehman Malik said that a parliamentary committee will look into complaints regarding the failure of the RTS under the new National Assembly speaker.

Senate panel seeks inquiry into RTS failure

The Senate Standing Committee for Interior also raised questions regarding the technical support and role of Pakistan Telecommunication Community Limited (PTCL) in the process.

The Senate panel further asked the ECP and National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) what authority had signed their agreement to manage the RTS and the funds involved in the RTS’ implementation.

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