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ToRs of Electoral Reforms Committee made public

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Published: September 12, 2014 06:32 pm

electoral reforms committee

ISLAMABAD: The Rules of Business of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms has finally been made public on the National Assembly website.

The committee finalized these Terms of Reference (ToRs) during its 4th meeting on August 19, 2014, but did make them public for more than two weeks. According to the rules, the committee’s scope of work shall include but not limited to evaluate shortcomings of previous elections and making recommendations for electoral reforms to ensure that future elections are held in free, fair and transparent manner. The rules say the quorum to constitute a meeting shall be at least one-fourth of the total membership.

According to the rules, a member may resign from the committee’s membership by writing under his/her hand addressed to the Speaker who may replace any member on the request of the concerned Leader of Parliamentary Party. The rules say if a member remains absent from three or more consecutive meetings without the permission of the Committee Chairman, the Speaker on the recommendations of the chairman may discharge him/her as per applicable rules and notify his/her replacement in consultation with the concerned Leader of the Parliamentary Committee.

The rules say if the Chairman is not present during a meeting, the committee shall choose one of its members to act as the Chairman for that meeting. All decisions of a meeting shall be taken by a majority vote and the Chairman shall in the event of equality of votes have a casting vote.

It also says the meetings shall be held in-camera unless otherwise decided by the committee and the proceedings and any information tendered before the committee shall be treated as secret unless the committee in the public interest decides otherwise. The committee shall have the powers to call for papers, records or documents and it also may invite experts in electoral matters, civil society organizations, lawyers or any other person as may be decided.

The committee will present its report to the parliament within three months from the date of its notification and it may be either interim or final and it shall incorporate views of the committee members and experts and it is required to be presented to each House.

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