Islamabad: ECP orders preparation for next general polls. Heading up its preparations for the next general polls, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has directed its officials to prepare the lists of polling staff and stations. It has also sought the proposed lists of staff from the provincial election commissioners. According to sources, the commission has decided to train the election staff on modern lines for the upcoming general polls. For this purpose, the four provincial election commissioners have been asked to prepare staff lists and send them to the ECP. Instead of traditional methods, the election staff will be trained on modern lines. They will be made aware of the electoral provisions included in the Constitution. The sources said that the commission had instructed the authorities that the polling stations should not be far from the voters. The ECP will appoint returning officers (ROs) and district returning officers (DROs) near the time of the elections. The ROs and DROs will be drawn from the judiciary or the administration. The ECP has directed that there should be no delay in the preparations for the general elections. Earlier this month, the ECP had published the final list of 266 constituencies of the National Assembly and 593 constituencies of the four provincial assemblies for the next general elections, based on the Sixth Population and Housing Census, 2017. The process of delimitation of the constituencies had been completed in nearly four months. In June, the ECP had invited public objections and suggestions regarding the delimitation. In July, the polls supervisor disposed of 910 objections, and published the final list. “The final list of constituencies is hereby published for information of the general public in accordance with the provisions of Section 21 of the Elections Act, 2017 read with Rule 14 of the Elections Rules, 2017,” the ECP had said in its notification. In the new delimitation the number of general seats of the National Assembly has been reduced from 272 in the present assembly to 266. The reduction of six seats came in accordance with the 25th Constitutional Amendment, following the merger of erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. According to the notification, 859 general seats – 266 of the National Assembly and 593 of the four provincial assemblies – had been created for the next general elections. Sources within the ECP had said earlier this month that the commission was “prepared” to conduct general elections by October. They had added that the commission had completed the work of delimitation of constituencies and eliminated any objections regarding them.