ECP considers election delay in constituencies over ongoing symbol changes

ISLAMABAD – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is contemplating the option of delaying general elections in particular constituencies, if the current procedure of altering election symbols is not stopped in those areas.

“If the symbol change continues, the ECP is considering a proposal to delay elections in those constituencies,” said the ECP in a statement issued here.

Highlighting the current scenario, the ECP noted that the allocation of election symbols’ changes are being made through various channels. It’s crucial to remember that the Election Commission has already directed the printing of ballot papers to three printing corporations, and the printing process has commenced.

To address this evolving situation, the election commission is holding meetings with the primary objective of managing the circumstances and ensuring strict adherence to instructions against changing election symbols.

The statement raises concerns about potential election delays due to continued symbol alterations, posing a risk of reprinting ballot papers within the limited timeframe.

On the flip side, the special paper designated for ballot printing is also at risk of being wasted. In the 2018 elections, 800 tons of paper were utilized for ballot paper printing, whereas this time, an estimated 2070 tons of paper are expected to be used in the 2024 elections.

Likewise, in the 2018 elections, 11,700 candidates were involved, whereas this time there were 18,059 candidates in the competition. Similarly, the production of ballot papers has surged from 220 million in 2018 to an estimated 260 million in the upcoming 2024 elections.