ISLAMABAD: As Pakistani nation gears up to cast votes on Wednesday (July 25), the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has explained the requirements for their votes to be valid.
The watchdog in its letter, addressing presiding officers, outlined the requirements for a ballot paper to meet in order to be included in the counting process.
The electoral body said that a ballot paper will be termed invalid if: it’s missing the official code mark or assistant presiding officer’s signature; it’s missing the ECP’s watermark; it’s missing the official nine-matrix seal; it has a paper or anything else attached to it; it has stamps on more than one candidate’s election symbols; and it appears equally in more than one candidates’ boxes.
However, the ECP, in its instructions added that if stamp appears in more than one box of a ballot paper, then it would be still deemed valid only if a prominent portion of stamp is in favour of a particular candidate.
Multiple stamps on the symbol of a particular candidate as well as stamps on both the symbol and the name of a candidate will also be counted as a valid vote, the ECP further clarified.
The general elections of Pakistan are scheduled on July 25.
A total number of 11,855 candidates running for the 849 general seats of National Assembly and four provincial assemblies in the 2018 elections.
This includes a total of 3,459 candidates — 1,623 from Punjab, 824 from Sindh, 725 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 287 from Balochistan. They will contest for the 272 general seats of the National Assembly. The National Assembly – the lower house of the parliament in the Pakistan’s democratic system consists of 342 members, of which 272 are directly elected, 60 seats are reserved for women and 10 are open to religious minorities. NNI
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