RAWALPINDI  - Scores of candidates on Tuesday faced a lot of troubles in filing their nomination papers to contest Local Bodies (LBs) elections because of poor arrangements of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) as well as of returning officers (ROs). 

The candidates leashed out at the ECP for setting up offices for filing nomination papers randomly, terming it an attempt to postpone the elections.

The candidates from Murree and Kotli Sattian were asked to file their nomination papers in Rawalpindi while those belonged to Adyala were asked to submit their papers in Kotli Sattian and of Rawat in Taxila.

“I am running from post to pillar since morning but could not get the right place where I should file my nomination papers. The authorities don not give the details where should we file our papers,” said Kabir Abbasi, a resident of Kotli Sattian told media. The Supreme Court of Pakistan should take action against ECP for its negligence causing immense troubles for intending candidates, many candidates demanded.

On the second day of filing nomination papers, a great rush of the intending candidates was witnessed at the returning officers’ offices in Karcheri. Candidates slammed the government for only giving three days to file their papers. The nomination of papers continued till 8pm.

Due to long distance only 590 candidates could file their papers on first as most of them, due to unawareness, spent the whole day in visiting ROs offices.

They came down hard upon the government for not properly uploading or advertising the ROs offices’ addresses causing great hardships to them. “I have visited five offices of ROs and then got information where should I file my papers,” said Qadeer Khan, a resident of Murree.

But unlike past, most of candidates came alone and were not accompanied by a precession of supporters.

Due to short deadline, they could only manage to reach ROs office to get an application and file their papers. It was also observed that most of candidates were unable to fill the nomination forms as it were printed in English, asking others to help them fill the form.

Cashing in the opportunity, the Oath Commissioners fleeced the candidates by charging Rs400 to 500 to fill a form. The candidates were asked to pay in cash rather then bank cheques due to which candidates exchanged harsh words with ROs. On the occasion, the owners of photocopier machines also looted the candidates by charging double rates for photocopies of their documents.

Candidates have to wait for hours due to slow process of voters confirm voters’ list.

District Coordination Officer (DCO) Sajid Zafar, however, when contacted for his comments, said that the ROs offices were set up by ECP with an aim to avoid rush at the offices. He also lauded ECP decision and said candidates bring processions of their supporters while filing nomination papers.

He said that the security was put on high alert and we were taking utmost care to avoid rush in markets and bazaar to ensure public safety as well as to avoid any terrorism act.

According to information, the ECP extended the deadline for filing of nomination papers till today (Wednesday).