Most polling stations in PP-20 failed accessibility criteria

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While the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) rejoices in retaining its seat in Chakwal, a report on accessibility to polling stations should attract the attention of the winning candidate if he wants a better turnout in the general elections later this year. An accessibility audit report for polling stations in PP-20 Chakwal-I, issued by the Pakistan Alliance for Inclusive Elections (PAIE), found that only 16 per cent of polling stations met the accessibility criteria, set as per internationally essential accessibility criterions. The criterions consider whether the surface of the pathways is obstacle free, levelled access to the entrance, wide pathways and corridors, availability of ramps in polling stations, availability of light in polling stations and presence of protruding objects among others.  The audit report notes that 84 per cent of the…
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‘Electoral processes inclusive for all citizens’

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LAKKI MARWAT: Pakistan Alliance for Inclusive Elections (PAIE) has expressed a dire need to make Pakistan’s electoral processes more inclusive and accessible for persons with disabilities. This was shared on the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disabilities celebrated at Centre for peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI). In a statement issued by CPDI on Wednesday the senior program officer Fatmia Shah said that the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3 proclaimed annual observance of the International Day of Disabled Persons in 1992. “It aims to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in all spheres of society and to increase awareness about situation of persons with disabilities in every aspect of life”, she said, adding that with Pakistan heading close to general elections it is high time…
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Make electoral process inclusive for differently abled

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As the Election Commission of Pakistan took steps to bring women into the electoral fold with a special campaign to register them as voters, one group has called on the apex polling body to also strive to make the electoral process inclusive for the differently abled. Japan, UNDP team up to strengthen Pakistan’s electoral process The Pakistan Alliance for Inclusive Elections (PAIE) and the Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), in a statement issued on Tuesday, said that there was no reason that this segment of the society should be left behind in exercising their democratic rights.   Fatima Shah, a senior programme officer at CPDI, said that with the country close to another general election, it was time to focus on all facets of the electoral processes. “We…
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Exit polls – the next big thing!

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The recent experience of conducting exit polls in the by-elections for two National Assembly constituencies has yielded encouraging results, giving hope that the trend would further pick up in the 2018 general elections  Exit polls have become part and parcel of elections in most of the developed countries, as well as in the neighbouring India. Since the late 1960s, when exit polls were first introduced, pollsters — usually private companies or research institutions working for or in collaboration with media groups — have been giving an early indication as to how an election has turned out because, in many cases, the actual result may take hours or even days to count. On the other hand, Pakistan is still grappling with the concept of exit polls though a few concrete steps…
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95% of polling stations in NA-4 lack accessibility arrangements for disabled persons

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PESHAWAR: Out of the total 269 polling stations set up for the NA-4 by-polls, 95 per cent lack essential accessibility criteria for people with disabilities [PWDs], elders and sick people, an audit report revealed. The survey, conducted by sister foundation of Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives, the Pakistan Alliance for Inclusive Elections [PAIE], through October 16 to October 22, found that only five per cent of the total polling stations were accessible while 42 per cent did not have obstacle free passage leading to the centre. The report, seen by The Express Tribune, also found that 75 per cent of the buildings did not have level access to the entrance – adding that 93 per cent of those without level access also lacked a ramp to facilitate wheelchair users. NA-4…
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Next election will be inclusive for all segments of society

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ISLAMABAD: Over 12 million women are missing from the electoral list for want of Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs), a senior official from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) said on Wednesday. “We have been working with the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to issue CNICs to women on a priority basis and ensure their participation in the next general elections,” ECP Additional Director General Nighat Siddique told participants of ‘Making an Inclusive Pakistan Elections Regime’, a event organised by the Special Talent Exchange Programme, in collaboration with the Canadian High Commission. Ms Siddique claimed that the next general elections would be inclusive for all segments of the society, including persons with disabilities (PWDs). ECP official says steps being taken to ensure people with disabilities can cast votes “A…
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Canadian HC hails STEP’s efforts: Call for enhanced participation of women with disabilities in general elections

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ISLAMABAD: Speakers at a roundtable discussion Wednesday called for taking collaborative actions for implementing a comprehensive gender strategy for enhanced participation of persons with disabilities, especially women in 2018 general election. The ‘Roundtable Discussion on Political Participation of Women with Disabilities,’ organised by Special Talent Exchange Programme (STEP) in collaboration with the High Commission of Canada, Women’s Parliamentary Caucus and National Forum of Women with Disabilities, was attended by representatives from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), national and international development organisations, Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS), Pakistan Alliance for Inclusive Elections and leading disabled people’s organisations (DPOs). The discussion primarily focused on enhancing political participation of women with disabilities was also addressed by Perry Calderwood, High Commissioner of Canada for Pakistan. “Canada believes that the full participation of…
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Roundtable to enhance political participation of WWDs

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Islamabad :To enhance political participation of women with disability (WWD), participants of a roundtable discussion stressed for concrete measures to ensure issuance of national identity cards to WDDs and voter’s registration besides making polling stations accessible for the disabled persons. The demand was highlighted at a roundtable discussion titled organised on Thursday titled ‘Making an Inclusive Pakistan Elections Regime: Roundtable Discussion on Political Participation of Women with Disabilities’ organised by Special Talent Exchange Programme (STEP) in collaboration with the High Commission of Canada, Women’s Parliamentary Caucus (WPC) and National Forum of Women with Disabilities (NFWWD). Speakers and participants of the round table called for developing and implementing a comprehensive gender strategy by the ECP aiming at enhanced participation of persons with disabilities especially women in 2018 general elections. The event…
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Women with disabilities must be included in electoral process

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ISLAMABAD: Speakers at a roundtable discussion on inclusivity of election and the democratic tradition have urged reaching out to more disabled women. The roundtable discussion was held on the political participation of women with disabilities in the capital on Wednesday. The discussion was organised by the Special Talent Exchange Programme (STEP) in collaboration with the High Commission of Canada, Women’s Parliamentary Caucus and National Forum of Women with Disabilities. It was attended by key representatives from the Election Commission of Pakistan, national and international development organisations, Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS), Pakistan Alliance for Inclusive Elections and leading disabled peoples organisations (DPOs). “Canada believes that the full participation of women in democratic processes is critical for a legitimate and inclusive government,” said Perry Calderwood, the high commissioner of Canada. “We…
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Roundtable calls for women’s active participation in democratic process

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ISLAMABAD: A roundtable Wednesday stressed women's active participation in the democratic system of Pakistan. The roundtable was organised by the Special Talent Exchange Programme (STEP) in collaboration with the High Commission of Canada, Women's Parliamentary Caucus and National Forum of Women with Disabilities. Representatives from the Election Commission of Pakistan, national and international development organisations, Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services, Pakistan Alliance for Inclusive Elections and other disabled people's organisations (DPOs) attended the discussion. The discussion primarily focused on enhancing political participation of women with Disabilities. Speaking on the occasion, Canadian High Commissioner Perry Calderwood said, "Canada believes that the full participation of women in democratic processes is critical for a legitimate and inclusive government. We welcome the efforts of this forum to seek greater access for women with disabilities."…
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