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Electoral Reforms Committee receives 316 recommendations

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Published: August 27, 2014 07:24 pm

electoral reforms committeeISLAMABAD: The Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms has received a total 316 recommendations on electoral reforms from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), public and relevant stakeholders. Of the total recommendations received, 202 have been submitted by different segments of the society.

The committee, met at the Parliament House with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar in the chair, was also briefed by the ECP on its strategic plan for reforms in the electoral process that will be either implemented by amending the Constitution or existing laws.

The ECP stressed the need for amending the election laws and proposed holding of population census on an immediate basis for preparing voter lists and delimitation of constituencies for the next elections. The commission also suggested a review of process for election of women members on reserved seats.

ECP Secretary Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan recommended the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the next general elections after their testing in by-polls. It was proposed that the time limit should be enhanced from 60 to 120 days after the assemblies either exhaust their tenure or are dissolved. He also proposed that a mechanism should be formulated for voting rights of overseas Pakistanis and presented a formal document comprising 16 recommendations requesting to convert them into a bill for legislation in the Parliament.

The commission also proposed constitutional amendments for giving administrative control to the ECP on the lines of India where the Chief Election Commissioner is given all administrative powers once elections are announced. The committee has summoned the officials of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Printing Corporation of Pakistan in its next meeting on September 1 for a briefing on the use of magnetic ink.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) also informed the committee that there is no possibility of polling of bogus votes in General Elections 2013 in the presence of authentic voter lists, which display the picture and the computerized national identity card number (CNIC) of each voter.

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