February 8 2024 proceeding: ECP issues key directives ahead of elections

ECP issues key directives ahead of February 8 2024

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued key directives for the general elections – slated to take place on February 8 2024. The election watchdogs also provided updates on the facilities and finalising procedures before heading to election day.

ECP has briefed the political bodies & independent candidates to conclude their canvassing campaigns before 48 hours of the voting day. Hence, all campaigns would come to halt by February 6 2024. As per the directives, no individual can organise political meetings or processions after February 6, 12:00 am. The commission has warned of legal action against those who violated these laws.

General Election 2024 Results Schedule

All Returning Officers (RO) and Presiding Officers (POs) have been instructed by the ECP to submit the election results by 2:00 am on February 8 2024. In case any result remains incomplete, then the final verdict should be forwarded by 10:00 am on February 9 2024.

ECP has barred local governments and cantonment boards of Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan from releasing funds for development schemes.

Assurance of Tech Facilities in Polling Stations

ECP issued a statement in which it assured that it would deploy the Election Management System (EMS) so that the POs could immediately forward the ‘Form 45’ to the ROs. Data Operators would be provided to the ROs in all circles.

All results would be submitted electronically. ECP has decided to provide fibre optics facility to the ROs for a smooth process. For an alternate method, ECP would install Wi-Fi devices.

Permits for Foreign Media

The government would issue special permits to the foreign media to cover the general elections 2024. Around 49 foreign journalists from 13 different countries have received permits. These journalists represent various states including Singapore, Thailand, Serbia, Sweden, France, Germany, Australia, United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, China, Japan, and the United States.

Over 130 journalists have applied for permission to cover the elections on February 8 2024. Reportedly, ECP has also prepared 200,000 accreditation cards. European Union and the Commonwealth countries would send their delegations to Pakistan to observe the general elections.

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