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ISLAMABAD: In an unprecedented move, Chairman National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) Tariq Malik has invited representatives of 150 political parties to the authority’s headquarters for an interactive session to walk them through the process on its ongoing technical support to ECP in preparation of final electoral rolls for next general elections.

Well-placed sources privy to the development said Chairman Nadra ran this idea by Chief Election Commissioner, who supported this initiative. ECP will also send its representative in these sessions, as well.

“To achieve greater level of transparency, Nadra intends to open its doors for all Political Parties. A full day dedicated session is planned for each political party interested in participating. During these sessions, Nadra will also respond to specific queries and concerns if raised by political stakeholders,” identical letters written to political parties read.

Highlighting the importance of Electoral Process Nadra invites political parties to an “Open House session on Electoral Rolls” to elaborate the role of Nadra in the process.

The parties have been asked to convey their convenient date and list of participants enabling it to make requisite arrangements to conduct interactive sessions after Eid.

According to sources, Nadra has been assisting ECP since 2011, for preparation of Computerized Electoral Rolls as per their request. It says the main concept behind the collaboration between ECP and Nadra was to ensure preparation of Electoral Rolls on the basis of “One Identity, One Person - One Vote” with minimal inclusion and exclusion errors.

So far, multiple General Elections, Local Bodies Elections (LBEs) and Bye-Elections had been conducted on these Electoral Rolls. The current LBE and bye-elections are being conducted on electoral rolls prepared in 2017; however, final electoral rolls to be used in 2023 general elections are under way, it reads.

“Nadra’s role in this collaboration is limited to providing technical and operational support on the request of ECP which has sole mandated under the Article 219 of the constitution for preparation of Electoral Rolls and registration of Voters”, Nadra said in its letter.

It says technical and operational support to ECP by Nadra include provision of newly issued CNICs data to ECP and supply of CNIC data of deceased as per Civil Registration Management System (CRMS) to ECP for their independent verification and subsequent inclusion and exclusion of voter.

It also provides address change data, implements Business Rules as approved by ECP besides printing and transporting of Electoral Rolls to District Election Commissioners’ offices and hosting of SMS 8300 service.

Nadra maintains that at this stage, ECP and Nadra are engaged in preparation of Electoral Rolls to be used in upcoming General Elections. ECP has conducted door to door verification of existing Electoral Rolls as part of periodic revision exercise and Preliminary Electoral Rolls (PER) are placed at Display Centres for public scrutiny. Voters and political stakeholders can file claims and objections on Preliminary Electoral Rolls (PER) to be decided by Revising Authorities through a judicious process. The decisions of Revising Authorities will be incorporated and ECP will publish Final Electoral Rolls (FER) within stipulated timelines. The updating of Electoral Rolls will continue even after publication of Final Electoral Rolls (FER) under provisions of Section 37 of the Elections Act, 2017.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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