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’13 sections of election bill in contravention of Constitution’

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The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has objected to National Assembly-approved Election Amendment Bill and informed the federal government that 13 sections of proposed law are in contravention of the Constitution.

The ECP informed the federal government of its stance via the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs through a letter. The letter was written by the ECP secretary to his counterpart at the ministry.

The ECP has asked the ministry to put its reservations in the knowledge of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

In the letter, ECP said that the bill passed by the National Assembly contradicts the Constitution. It said that the demarcation of constituencies based on voters rather than the population is not in line with the Constitution.

“The rights regarding the voters list are under the purview of the ECP and 13 provisions of the proposed Election Act are unconstitutional,” said the ECP secretary in the letter.

It also said that using the open ballot method instead of secret voting for the Senate polls conflicts with the opinion given by the Supreme Court.

Parliament passes a record 21 govt bills in one day

Last week, the National Assembly passed a record 21 government bills, including the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

Advisor to Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan had tabled the bill for consideration after suspension of the rules.

The House passed the bill with majority vote after voice voting, state media had reported.

The Election (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was introduced in the National Assembly on October 16, 2020. It was referred to the Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs the same day.

Elections (Second Amendment) Bill

Likewise, the House also passed the Elections (Second Amendment) Bill which pertains to fair, free and transparent election through utilisation of technology and modern gadgets.

The bill is also aimed at granting voting rights to the Overseas Pakistanis which may only be possible by vesting exclusive authority in ECP with technical assistance of NADRA and other agencies.

Amendments were sought in section 94 and 103 of the Election Act, 2017 to achieve the aforesaid objectives.

This bill was also piloted by Awan in the House.

2021-06-19 21:56:00

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