PESHAWAR: Following the issuance of modified schedule of upcoming general elections, returning officers resumed the process of receiving nomination papers across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for a total of 172 national and provincial assembly seats.
The aspirants are filing papers for 138 general seats in KP, including 39 seats of National Assembly and 99 of the provincial assembly, and 34 reserved seats, including nine for women in the NA, and 22 for women and three for non-Muslims in the provincial assembly.
According to the modified schedule, the returning officers will receive nomination papers from June 4 to June 8 and will issue a public notice with names of initial candidates on June 8. On June 1, the returning officers had issued public notices inviting nomination papers from the candidates and notifying the election schedule.
However, the Election Commission of Pakistan had ordered an immediate halt to the process in light of the Lahore High Court’s decision regarding the changes to nomination papers.
The process however resumed after the Supreme Court suspended the high court’s order as the ECP issued a modified election schedule.
Earlier, nomination papers had to be filed until June 6. The polling will take place on July 25.
According to reports from different areas, several people aspiring to contest polls visited the relevant returning officers and got nomination forms. In Peshawar, no candidate filed nomination papers on Monday.
According to the schedule, the scrutiny of nomination papers by returning officers will take place until June 14.
The last date to file appeals against the decisions of the returning officers is June 19, whereas the appellate tribunal will decide the appeals by June 26.
The revised list of candidates will be made public on Jun 27 and the date for withdrawal of nomination papers will be Jun 28. Allocation of symbols to the candidates and list of contesting candidates will be issued on Jun 29.
The Provincial Election Commissioner, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pir Maqbool Ahmad, is the returning officers for the seats reserved for women and non-Muslims in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and women reserved seats in the National Assembly from KP.
Unlike the previous polls when the National Assembly constituencies in Peshawar started from NA-1 Peshawar I, after the delimitation of constituencies the National Assembly constituencies of Peshawar starts from NA-27 Peshawar 1. Moreover, the number of NA constituencies of Peshawar has gone up from four to five.
The National Assembly constituency of Chitral has now been numbered as NA-1 Chitral 1. Similarly, the provincial assembly constituencies now also start from Chitral as PK-1 Chitral. Previously, the provincial assembly constituencies began from Peshawar as PK-1 Peshawar 1.
Moreover, unlike previous polls, the number of provincial assembly constituencies in Peshawar has increased from 11 to 14. All returning officers for the general seats are judicial officers.
The minimum permissible age for a candidate under the Constitution is 25 years. The candidates had also to deposit fee of Rs 30,000 with the nomination paper for National assembly constituency and Rs 20,000 fee with nomination paper for a provincial assembly seat.
Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2018