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`None of the above` voting option not being introduced: Pak EC

Last Updated: Friday, April 5, 2013 - 16:17

Islamabad: Pakistan`s Election Commission on Friday did a flip-flop on a move to give people the choice of not voting for any of the candidates in the fray for the General Election, saying its proposal for a "none of the above" option in ballots had been put off.

The Election Commission`s decision to include the "none of the above" option in ballot papers had been postponed "due to legal implications", state-run Radio Pakistan reported.

The decision came after the proposal was widely criticised by leading political parties, including the Pakistan People`s Party and the PML-N.

On Wednesday, Election Commission Secretary Ishtiaq Ahmed had said the poll panel had decided to write to the caretaker Prime Minister to "forward the matter to the President for promulgating an ordinance to include the `none of the above` provision in ballot papers".

Officials say re-polls would be held in constituencies where 51 percent of voters did not vote for any of the candidates.

Officials said the measure would have required legal backing in the form of an ordinance issued by the President.

However, with a little more than a month to go before the polls on May 11, there was little time left to address complicated legal issues, sources told a news agency.

Election Commission officials also told the media that it could be "inappropriate" to make changes in the ballot papers after the election schedule had been announced.

The "none of the above" option was proposed by the Supreme Court in one of its decisions last year.

The court had asked the Election Commission to contemplate the option as it is in vogue in some countries.


First Published: Friday, April 5, 2013 - 16:17
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