Pakistani expatriates get right to vote

But will not be able to cast vote in 2013 elections

President Asif Ali Zardrai has promulgated an ordinance, allowing over six million overseas Pakistanis to cast their votes. However, the Pakistani expatriates would not be able to use their right of franchise in May 11 polls.

Giving details of the ordinance, spokesperson to the president Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the ordinance had been signed on the advice of the prime minister. The spokesperson said, “The ordinance shall come into force at once but shall take effect on the date or dates to be notified by the election commission in the official gazette.” It provides that the Election Commission of Pakistan shall establish polling stations abroad at least 14 days before the day fixed for elections.

These polling stations will have as many polling booths as may be necessary in the premises of an embassy, a mission or a consulate provided that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has obtained consent of the host countries for establishment of the polling stations. The ordinance further says that overseas Pakistanis will have to register themselves as an elector in the embassy, mission or consulate where they intend to cast their vote not later than ten days before the day fixed for election abroad. app

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