Elections 2024 Pakistan: Frequently Asked Questions

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Most of the Pakistanis will vote for their favorite candidates on February 8, 2024. The main contest for the center is expected between Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidates, who will now appear as independent candidates, MQM-Pakistan (MQM-P), Awami National Party (ANP), Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) are also in contention for 266 NA and 593 PA seats.

Here are answers to some of the questions that the voters ask.

1. When was the right of adult franchise extended to the residents of FATA?

Just before the General Elections of 1997.

2. Can I file an objection against the enrollment of any other person?

Yes, if you are a registered voter of the same electoral area.

3. What is the minimum age for becoming a candidate for the National
Assembly of Pakistan?

25 years.

4. What is the minimum age for becoming a candidate for a Provincial Assembly?

25 years.

5. What is the minimum age for contesting elections to the Senate?

30 years.

6. What is the minimum age for becoming a candidate for office of the President?

45 years.

7. If a person is registered as a voter in Peshawar can he contest elections to a National Assembly Constituency from Lahore?

Yes he/she can. For election to the National Assembly a person has to be enrolled on
any district/ constituency electoral roll anywhere in the country and not necessarily in the
constituency he/she wants to contest elections in. This however, is not the case if one wants
to contest Provincial Assembly elections. In order to do so, one must be registered as a voter in the province where he/she wants to contest.

8. Can a person registered as a voter in Khuzdar (Baluchistan) contest for Provincial Assembly from Mardan (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa)?

No. For election to a Provincial Assembly the candidate should be registered as a voter in that
province.

9. Can a convicted and previously imprisoned offender contest elections?

No, if a person is sentenced to imprisonment for at least two years, he cannot contest any
election unless a period of five years has elapsed since his release.

10. Can a person holding public office or in the service of Pakistan living away from their enrolled district vote through postal ballot if they cannot
vote in person?

Yes a person in the service of Pakistan or holding a public office can vote through postal ballot
paper if he/she wishes to cast their vote at the constituency of their home town.

11. Can family members of government servants who have been posted away from their enrolled constituency also cast their vote by postal ballot?

Yes they can if they are registered as voters.

12. How can polling personnel/staff cast their votes?

They can also cast their votes through postal ballots within the dates specified by the Election
Commission.

13. Are overseas Pakistanis eligible to vote?

Overseas Pakistanis who are present in Pakistan at the time of election can cast their vote at
the polling station concerned if they are registered as voters. However, voting from aboard is
not permissible under the law.

14. What is the security deposit required for election to National Assembly?

Rupees Four thousand only.

15. What is the Security deposit for election to Provincial Assembly?

Rupees Two thousand only.

16. Are the above-mentioned security deposits refundable?

Yes, the security deposits are refundable within six month otherwise it shall be forfeited.

17. In what case does a candidate lose his/her security deposit?

A defeated candidate who receives less than one eighth of the total number of votes cast at
the election loses his/her security deposit.

18. Can a person contest election to the National Assembly from as many
constituencies as he/she wants?

Yes.

19. Can a person retain more than one seat in the National Assembly if he/she is elected to all seats that he/she ran for?

No, she/ he has to resign from all seats except one.

20. If a person is elected from the National Assembly as well as a Provincial Assembly seat, can he/she retain both the seats?

No he/she must resign one of the seats.

21. What is the number of proposers and seconders required for subscribing to the nomination of a candidate?

For each nomination one proposer and one seconder is required.

22. Who can be the proposer or a seconder?

Any voter of that constituency can propose or second a nomination.

23. How many voters are normally assigned to a particular polling station to
vote?

Normally 1000-1200 voters are assigned to each polling station. However, in exceptional
cases such number may go up to 1500.

24. How far can a polling station be from your house?

Efforts are made to assign voters to the nearest polling station. However, in some cases the
distance may be about two kilometres.

25. How many polling booths are required to be set up in each polling station?

The polling booths are made keeping in view the number of total voters assigned to that
polling station. However, normally two to four polling booths are setup at a polling station.

26. Are there separate polling booths for male and female voters?

Yes. The female voters are assigned separate polling booths in each polling station.

27. How many nomination papers can be filed by a candidate?

Not more than five in one constituency.

28. Is it necessary to deposit a security fee for each nomination paper?

No, security once deposited is enough for all the nominations for that constituency.

29. Are female polling staff appointed for the female booths in polling stations?

Yes, separate female polling staff is appointed at polling booths in the urban areas. But in
rural areas sometimes female polling staff is not available. Therefore, elderly male staff is
appointed at such booths catering for female voters.

30. Are separate polling stations setup for female voters?

Yes. Separate polling stations are setup for female voters in the urban areas but it is not
possible to setup female polling stations in the rural areas due to non-availability of female
staff. However, separate female booths within rural polling stations are provided for female
voters.

31. How can a candidate withdraw from the contest?

A validly nominated candidate can withdraw his candidature by submitting a notice in writing
signed by him and delivered to the Returning Officer on or before the withdrawal date fixed
by the Election Commission.

32. Can a notice of withdrawal be cancelled?

A notice of withdrawal in no circumstances can be recalled or cancelled.

33. How can a contesting candidate retire from an election?

A contesting candidate may retire from the contest by a notice in writing signed by him and
delivered to the Returning Officer on any day not later than four days before the polling day.

34. Can a notice of retirement be delivered by any person other than the candidate?

Yes, an agent authorized in writing by such candidate can submit the notice of retirement to
the Returning Officer.

35. Can a voter mark a ballot paper in open in front of other people sitting in the polling station?

No. Under the Constitution elections are to be held by secret ballot. Therefore, the voter is
required to mark/stamp the ballot paper in the screened off compartment in the polling station not in view of any other individuals or polling staff.

36. How can a blind or incapacitated person vote?

If an elector is totally blind or otherwise so incapacitated as to require help of a companion,
the Presiding Officer may allow him to be accompanied by a companion provided that the
companion is neither a candidate nor an agent of a candidate.

37. If I go to a polling station and find that somebody else has impersonated and cast vote in my place, what can I do?

The matter should be brought to the notice of the Presiding Officer who after satisfying himself will issue a ballot paper called as “tendered ballot paper” in the same manner as ballot papers are issued to other electors. The tendered ballot paper shall be kept separately after it is marked by the voter. Tendered ballots are not counted.

38. Can a person at the polling station cast their vote after the closing hour of the poll?

Any person present within the building, room, tent or enclosure in which the polling station is
situated and is waiting to vote will be allowed to cast a vote even after the hour fixed for the
close of the poll.

39. If a contesting candidate is not satisfied with the result of an election, what recourse does he/she have to lodge their objections?

A candidate can call an election in question by filing an election petition in the manner
prescribed under the law. The election petitions will be heard and decided by the Election
Tribunals appointed by the Chief Election Commissioner.

40. If you are offered money to vote for a particular candidate, should you
accept that money and vote?

No. This is an illegal practice. The person offering the money and the recipient are carrying
out an illegal act. The exchange of such money is a corrupt practice which is punishable with
imprisonment for a term of three years or with fine up to five thousand rupees for both.

41. When can an election petition be filed?

The election petition can be filed within 45 days of the publication of the names of returned
candidates in the official gazette.

42. Who can be appointed to an Election Tribunal?

Normally, sitting Judges of the High Courts are appointed to the Election Tribunals.

43. Is the decision of the Election Tribunal final?

The decision of the Election Tribunal is appealable before the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

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