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Overseas Pakistanis will have right to cast vote in by-polls: ECP

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday said the overseas Pakistanis will be able to exercise their right to franchise in the upcoming by-elections in line with the Supreme Court’s August 17 judgment.

According to details, Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Muhammad Raza presided over a meeting in Islamabad where it was decided that the Pakistanis living abroad will be registered with the Commission from Sept 1 to 15.

The expats who will have National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) and Machine Readable Passport (MRP) will be registered as voters.

The ECP said an awareness campaign will also be launched in this regard with the help of the foreign ministry, Nadra and Pakistan’s embassies abroad.

The participants of the meeting laid special emphasis on registering as many overseas voters as possible.

On Aug 17, a bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take necessary measures with the help of Nadra to ensure participation of the Overseas Pakistanis in the by-elections.

The electoral body is to conduct by-elections on seats of the National and provincial assemblies which were vacated by political leaders who returned on more than one seats in the July 25 elections and constituencies where the polls couldn’t be held owing to some reasons.

The ECP has issued the schedule for the by-elections according to which the voting for 37 seats – 11 of the National Assembly and 26 of the provincial assemblies – will be held on October 14.

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