Pakistani expats get voting rights

Pakistani expats get voting rights

The Election Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday decided to grant voting rights to overseas Pakistanis. The decision will allow 3.7 million Pakistanis living abroad to vote.



By Afzal Khan

Published: Wed 15 Feb 2012, 1:01 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 4:38 PM

ISLAMABAD — The Election Commission of Pakistan on Tuesday decided to grant voting rights to overseas Pakistanis. The decision will allow 3.7 million Pakistanis living abroad to vote.

The debate on whether overseas Pakistanis should be allowed to participate in Pakistan’s elections gained steam after Pakistan Tehrike Insaf chairman Imran Khan moved the Supreme Court requesting that Pakistanis living abroad should be permitted to vote.

At a meeting of the commission on Tuesday, which was chaired by ECP secretary Ishtiak Ahmed Khan, participants from various political parties decided that names of overseas Pakistanis will be registered in the electoral rolls.

A voting mechanism has yet to be decided, but the participants discussed various proposals, including the option of postal balloting and setting up polling booths at Pakistani embassies.

Sources said non-resident Pakistanis above 18 years of age would be tracked by the National Database and Registration Authority and they would be sent ballot papers by post. The next general elections are scheduled for 2013.

news@khaleejtimes.com


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