ECP acquires services of all govt employees due to shortage of staff


Voter (50+ posts)
LAHORE: To overcome the shortage of staff for polling day, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has sought services from almost all government departments and state-owned companies, The Express Tribune learnt on Sunday.


The Provincial Election Commissions (PEC) has also asked the central bank to direct financial institutions to volunteer their employees for election duties on July 25.

According to ECP estimate, the commission requires a total of 735,000 polling staff to carry out the mammoth polling exercise across the country. Previously, the mostly teaching staff of educational institutions performed election duties. However, for 2018 general elections besides educational institutions the commission has sought employees from other government departments, like agriculture, livestock, housing, health, transport, etc.

For the first time in the electoral history of the country, the commission has also acquired services of the power distribution companies, state-owned companies, scheduled bank officials, Lahore Electricity Supply Company (LESCO) and the Urban Unit. For the elections, the commission has established the highest number polling stations across Pakistan to cater to the highest number of voters.

According to an ECP official, the commission is working in close coordination with various institutions to overcome the shortage and training of polling staff.

He highlighted that the provincial elections commissions are directly coordinating with state departments, while the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has issued directions to all scheduled banks across Pakistan to volunteer their employees for the training of polling duties. In Sindh, he indicated, scheduled banks have already volunteered their staff which are being provided necessary training.

Earlier, the commission has asked the Punjab School Education Department (SED) for the provision of an additional 30% staff as a backup for upcoming general elections. The department had directed all district education authorities to arrange additional staff for election duties.

Speaking to The Express Tribune in session courts, an official of the Urban Unit said it is the first time that his department has sent various officials for election duties. “Today, we have been given briefing about polling day duties. All my colleagues and I have signed already signed oath. We have been told to reach an APS school for training.”

Another government official, Saleem Khan said it is a hassle to visit session courts over the weekend but since it is national duty so he is happy to play his part in the democratic process. He also highlighted that it is happening for the first time that the ECP has asked other government departments to volunteer their staff besides education department officials.

A government schoolteacher, Nasreen Javed said: “Most teachers of my school are performing election duties but we are still short of staff. The returning officer has advised us to hire some female teachers from other educational institutions. I have tried to contact several friends in the field but all of them are already engaged in other constituencies.”

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a government schoolteacher said that the ECP officials have asked them to arrange assistant presiding officers and other polling staff on their own.

The commission has indicated that it will provide a trained senior presiding officer, who will act as a presiding officer in his or her absence. He disclosed that the commission has training sessions for presiding officer which will later impart training to their staff before polling on July 25.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2018.
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Senator (1k+ posts)
Indeed, PTI should accept this time results.ECP has done everything possible to try to stop dhandli or give advantage to one candidate over another by dismissing local bodies, Freezing development funds for new projects and freezing job distribution to buy vote.Police recent behavior has also shown that transfer in bureaucracy has worked and they won't be pml-n b team this time.Even if there is dhandli, It will be in pti favor cause the one's who did the so called rigging last time are supporting pti this time.