=> ISLAMABAD (February 01 2008): The Foreign donors o -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

=> ISLAMABAD (February 01 2008): The Foreign donors o

ISLAMABAD (February 01 2008): The Foreign donors on Thursday handed over transparent ballot boxes and voters’ booths along with seals to Election Commission of Pakistan in a bid to help conduct upcoming general elections, seen very critical by political analysts, in transparent manner.

Japan, UK, USAID, Netherlands, Norway, European Union, CIDA and UNDP provided 430,000 transparent ballot boxes along with 6.28 million seals and 300,000 voters’ booths with half of the share by Japan alone.

Japanese Ambassador to Pakistan, Seiji Kojima formally handed over these articles in a ceremony to the EC that was also attended by Eric Hawthorne, Head of Development Department for International Development, UK and Alvaro Rodriguez, Country Director of UNDP.

Secretary EC, Kanwar Muhammad Dilshad said that their support has been very critical in making arrangements for the upcoming general elections. Giving an overview of arrangements, he said that all the necessary arrangements needed for the upcoming elections have been made including development of an effective electoral administration systems and improved capacities.

“This has been possible largely through provision of 430,000 transparent ballot boxes along with 6.28 million seals and 300,000 voter booths which are of world standards and have given a new facet to the whole electoral process,” Dilshad added.

“The ECP not only introduced these new electoral commodities but also developed a comprehensive training programme imparted to all the election officials including the District Returning Officers, Returning Officers, Assistant Returning Officers, Presiding Officers, Assistant Presiding Officers and Polling Officers with the help of UNDP. A total of 600,000 election officials have been trained and all the training programmes have been completed,” he said.

Dilshad said that an extensive voters’ education campaign is being undertaken with the support of UNDP and donors which will continue till the elections. All the major TV channels are being used for the campaign and around 100 NGOs have also been involved for the campaign, he added.

He said that arrangements have been made by ECP for facilitating the international observers and undertaking their accreditation. Kits have been developed and distributed among the EU, IRI observers. Arrangements for accreditation of domestic observers have also been made who will be around 20,000, Dilshad added. He said that the printing of ballot papers has been completed and the polling scheme has been finalised and notified by the ECP.
Source: Business Recorder
Date:2/1/2008