Polling duties: ECP seeks services of govt employees besides teaching staff

LAHORE: To overcome shortage of staff on polling day, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has sought services from almost all government departments and state-owned companies.

The provincial election commissions have also asked the central bank to direct financial institutions to volunteer their employees for election duties on July 25.

As per the ECP, the commission requires a total of 735,000 polling staff to carry out the mammoth polling exercise across the country.

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Previously, mostly teaching staff of educational institutions performed election duties. However, for the 2018 general elections the commission has sought employees from other government departments, like agriculture, livestock, housing, health and transport among others.

For the first time in the country’s electoral history, the commission has also taken services of the power distribution companies, state-owned companies like Lahore Electricity Supply Company (LESCO), the Urban Unit.

The commission has established the highest number polling stations across Pakistan to cater the highest number of voters for the July 25 elections.

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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 the country to volunteer their employees for training of polling duties.

In Sindh, he indicated, banks have already volunteered their staff, who are now being provided necessary training.

Earlier, the commission asked the Punjab School Education Department (SED) for provision of an additional 30 per cent staff as a backup for upcoming general elections.

The department had directed to all district education authorities to arrange additional staff for election duties.

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

Another government official, Saleem, said though it is a hassle to visit session courts on the weekend but since it is a national duty so he is happy to play his part in the democratic process.

He also highlighted that the ECP has asked other government departments to volunteer their staff besides education department officials for the very first time.

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    Original news : https://tribune.com.pk/story/1758829/1-polling-duties-ecp-seeks-services-govt-employees-besides-teaching-staff/