PESHAWAR – Speakers at a seminar on Saturday urged upon the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take the stakeholders and political forces on board to remove the existing technical mistakes in the ECP proposed draft and improve it for free, fair and transparent elections.

The seminar was titled ‘Election Commission’s proposed code of conduct draft for political parties’ organised by Civic Awareness Promotion Society (CAPS) a non-governmental organisation in collaboration with SPO here at Peshawar Press Club on Saturday. In the programme, besides others PPP-Parliamentarian Khwaja Yawar Naseer, PML-N Allah Dad Khan, Qaumi Watan Party local leader Usman Khalil, JUI-F provincial secretary information Jalil Jan, PTI Zahid Nadeem and representatives of different civil society organisations participated.

About the existing mistakes and flaws in the ECP proposed draft, the participants were of the view that the proposed ‘code of conduct’ draft was ineffective as there was no such penalty concept for a person or party who violate it. They said that though the Chief Election Commissioner is a reliable person but the rest of the election commission staff had always been disputed and turned dubious by rigging in the election process, adding a proper machinism should devise to punish the officials concerned found involved in the rigging.

Referring the first paragraph of the proposed draft, they questioned that who would judge the violation in case a candidate or a political party worker done during the elections. Similarly, there is no coordination system among the state machinery that how to register a complaint and how to penalize the violator.

The participants were also strongly opposed the transaction relating to the election expenses through the GST registered firm, and said that it would further increase election expenses.

They also said that how a district administration officer could effectively implement the relevant laws as ‘District Returning Officer’ mere in a day time, so the concerned officers should fully be empowered to ensure free elections process in a befitting manner. The district administration, they proposed should also be delegate power registering complaints of the candidates and citizens with the concerned police station in order to encourage people about the power of vote.

The parliamentarians and civil society representatives also urged the judiciary for quick decisions in the petitions filed by any person against a succeeded candidate, and should also give the disqualification verdicts in case a member/ candidate found guilty.