ECP holds day-long seminar on inclusion of persons with disabilities in electoral process

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 2 (APP): Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday organized a day-long seminar on inclusion of persons with disabilities in electoral process.

The seminar was arranged to mark the International Day of persons with Disabilities.

The event was an initiative of the ECP’s Gender and Disability Electoral Working Group with an aim to promote the inclusion of persons with disabilities in the electoral process.

Addressing on the occasion, Chief ECP Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza said inclusive elections are the fair elections where every citizens including persons with disabilities are able to play his or her role.

The CEC referred to the equality of all citizens under Article 25 of the Constitution of Pakistan and highlighted the significance of a concerted effort by all stakeholders including ECP, civil society organizations, media and political parties.

Secretary ECP, Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad said that the ECP was striving to create a conducive environment for the marginalized groups for equal representation and participation in the electoral process.

He said ECP welcomes partners both from within and outside the country to work along with the ECP to promote inclusive elections.

He said ECP was planning to have all polling stations accessible in the next general elections.

Head of DFID organization, Joanna Reid congratulated the ECP for organizing this event and said that the UK remains committed to supporting the social and economic development of Pakistan.

She said participation in electoral and political process is crucial for persons with disabilities to have a voice in decision-making process.

She said “We must continue to work together to ensure that all persons with disabilities who are of voting age are registered as voters and have access to voting.”

Other speakers highlighted the evolution of disability rights movement in international perspective and referred to the various recommendations of the civil society.

They said inclusion should be at the core of election planning and implementation.