Pakistan poll expenses to rise four-fold

Islamabad, Dec 23 (IANS) The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has proposed a four-fold increase in expenditure for polls to national and provincial assembly seats.

The current ceiling of Rs.1.5 million and Rs.1 million for a national assembly and provincial assembly seat, respectively, was fixed over a decade ago.

The ECP has now proposed Rs.6 million and Rs.4 million for a national assembly and provincial assembly seat, respectively, the Dawn reported Sunday. The proposal is part of a comprehensive draft on election reform.

The draft proposes that a party will not be eligible to receive an election symbol if it does not fulfil three conditions:

-- If it had not secured at least one seat with its election symbol in any of the past three parliamentary polls;

-- If it had failed to obtain five percent of total votes cast during the three previous polls; or

-- If it has not set up offices in at least 10 districts.

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