By-elections in national, provincial assemblies postponed until Jan 31, 2021: ECP


ISLAMABAD: The by-elections of the national and provincial assemblies have been postponed until January 31, 2021, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced Tuesday following a meeting chaired by Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja.

The ECP’s decision was based on a recommendation made by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), which was expected to review the situation regarding the by-elections on December 31, 2020.

The by-elections were to be held for two seats in the National Assembly and six in the provincial assemblies.

Expressing concern over the wide gap between male and female voters, the national election body observed that it was more than 10% in some urban areas and should be examined from every angle. It also sought suggestions to help reduce the gap.

The ECP, in its announcement, underlined that it was considering electronic voting machine, biometric machine, and i-voting. It said it was crucial to consider the implications of voting before making a decision since haste could affect the election results.

The ECP’s pilot reports should be discussed in the Parliament, which, it reasoned, would help lead to an appropriate decision.

Furthermore, the ECP also announced its decision to hold elections on the vacant position of Islamabad’s mayor, directing the relevant schedule be issued.

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