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PPP seeks delay in Senate election nomination papers’ submission

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PPP on Friday demanded that the Election Commission of Pakistan extend the time duration for the submission of candidates' forms for the upcoming Senate election.

In a letter to the Chief Election Commission, PPP's Secretary-General Nayyar Hussain Bukhari said that the time allocated by ECP for forms' submission was not enough.

The ECP announced the schedule for elections on February 12 and gave only two days — Feb 12 and 13 — for the nomination papers to be submitted.

Bukhari said that PPP needs to conduct an exercise throughout the union council levels to finalise its candidates for the Senate election.

"It involves inviting applications, scrutiny, setting up of parliamentary boards, interviewing candidates before finally awarding them tickets. As the candidates run into hundreds, the exercise takes considerable time," he said.

Bukhari said that interviews could not be held when the schedule is "so cramped", resulting in "disappointment to aspiring candidates". That apart, he said that the documentation required for submission of nomination forms by candidates is also "very cumbersome" making it difficult to complete all formalities in two days.

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"For instance, a candidate is required to open a special bank account for the conduct of elections. Due to international anti-money laundering requirements, the procedure of opening special bank accounts has been made very cumbersome and complicated in itself and requires a separate set of documentation from the candidates," he said.

The PPP leader, in the letter, said that the bank branches send each case to their respective head offices for scrutiny and clearance and it was "simply not possible to get clearance for opening a bank account in one or two days".

"I, therefore, urge the Honourable Chief Election Commissioner to kindly look into [the matter] and take appropriate steps to redress the situation," Bukhari said.


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