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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has sought applications from the political parties for the allotment of electoral symbols for the “forthcoming” general polls of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab by the extended deadline of coming Wednesday (March 8).

Notably, the electoral body on February 9 first sought from political parties the submissions for electoral symbols— but did not mention the general polls of KP and Punjab assemblies then— that were conspicuously mentioned in Wednesday’s press release.

The electoral body, in a statement, Wednesday, asked the political parties to submit, in person or through authorised representative, applications for allotment of election symbol for the general elections of the two provincial legislatures by the extended deadline.

Section 216 of the Elections Act, 2017, provides that a political party shall make an application to the commission for the allocation of a symbol of its choice for each general election within the period specified by the commission in its press release, and the application shall contain — (a) The list of symbols applied for in order of preference; (b) Symbol or symbols if any allocated to the political party during the previous general elections; (c) Every such application shall be signed by the party head, by whatever name designated; (d) Address of the head office of the political party; and (e) Such other particulars or information from the political party as may be prescribed.

Section 217 of the same law provides that (1) The commission shall allocate a symbol to a political party if the political party complies with the provisions of this Act; (2) A candidate nominated by a political party for an election in any constituency shall be allotted the symbol allocated to that political party by the returning officer; (3) A symbol allocated to a political party by the commission shall not be allotted to any candidate in a constituency other than the candidate nominated by that political party.”

Section 215 provides that a political party enlisted under this law shall be eligible to obtain an election symbol for contesting elections for parliament, provincial assemblies or local government on submission of certificates and statements that are required under the relevant sections of the Elections Act 2017.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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