Pakistan's Premier Multilingual News Agency

ECP’s financial needs confirmed for February 8 polls, information minister

Islamabad, 4 December, 2023 (GNP): Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi assured today that the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) financial needs are well accounted for the general elections scheduled for February 8, dismissing any notion of a crisis in meeting these requirements.

Responding to recent media reports, Minister Solangi affirmed in a statement shared on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) that there is no financial crisis impeding the ECP’s preparations for the upcoming elections.

He reassured that the budgeted amount necessary for the ECP’s operations will be promptly released to meet its needs as required.

“The federal cabinet has approved Rs42 billion for the ECP’s budgetary needs, with Rs10 billion already disbursed,” stated Minister Solangi.

He further noted that the ECP had approached the government to release Rs17.4 billion from the remaining allocated budget.

“We stand firmly behind the ECP’s efforts in ensuring free and fair elections, as mandated by

Article 218(3) of the constitution,” Minister Solangi concluded.

In line with the government’s commitment, Finance Secretary Imdadullah Bosal visited the ECP headquarters in Islamabad today.

Assuring swift action, Secretary Bosal confirmed the finance department’s commitment to release the necessary funds for the impending elections.

“We will release the required funds within two days, addressing the needs expressed by the ECP,” stated Secretary Bosal to the media after the visit.

Earlier reports suggesting a delay in the upcoming general elections were dismissed by the ECP as baseless and misleading.

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The electoral body, along with President Arif Alvi, confirmed February 8, 2024, as the polling day, igniting intensified activities within major political factions.

Furthermore, the ECP, through a letter to the Interior Ministry, highlighted a shortfall of 277,558 security personnel required for the elections.

ECP Secretary Omar Hamid Khan urged arrangements for deploying army soldiers and other security personnel at polling stations to ensure a secure electoral process.

The letter emphasized the constitutional obligation of all executive authorities to assist the ECP in maintaining security during elections.

The breakdown provided in the letter detailed shortages in security personnel across provinces and the federal capital, emphasizing the urgent need for reinforcements ahead of the polling day.

Confirmation for the availability of security personnel from the Pakistan Army and civil armed forces has been requested by the ECP by December 7, adhering to Article 220 of the Constitution.