Pakistan’s election commission Friday extended the duration of the July 25 polls by an hour to ensure greater participation of voters in the polling process to elect the next government.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said polling will now begin at 8 am and end at 6 pm instead of the usual 5 pm.
The purpose of the extension is to ensure greater participation of voters in the polling process, the ECP said.
The move comes days after the ECP rejected Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) plea to extend polling hours until 8 pm saying that the timings were ordained by the law and there was no need for them to be extended.
Geo TV reported that this is the first time the polling duration has been extended across the board in the country’s electoral history.
Meanwhile, the deadline for candidates to submit their party tickets for those to withdraw their nomination papers ended at 4pm Friday. It was also the last day for candidates vying to contest the polls to submit their party tickets and for those to withdraw their nomination papers.
The ECP said that it will announce the polling scheme and final list of candidates with electoral symbols tomorrow. It is mandatory for the candidates to submit their party tickets in order to be allotted their electoral symbols. Those who fail to do so will be considered independent candidates.
The ECP stated that the final list of candidates will be displayed at the offices of the returning officers and district returning officers tomorrow.
The electoral body has told the candidates that they will have a total of 23 days to hold their campaigns, as all campaigning will end on the night (midnight) of July 23.