SAHIWAL-After a district level consultation, the representatives of political parties and civil society organisations demanded change in the election procedure and the related rules.

Recommendations were finalised through series of consultations among the five political parties including PML-N, PPP, PTI, Jamaat-e-Islami and PML-Q. These recommendations were announced in a joint press conference by Alweera Rahid, the election officer, along with district heads of the parties at Sahiwal Press Club.

The Free and Fair Election Network along with its partner organisations is finalising an advocacy agenda for electoral reforms. Three months ago, Punjab Lok Sujag in Sahiwal started a consultation with the district office-bears and representatives of the organisations. Ms Alweera added that consultations were also going on in more than 80 districts of Pakistan and after completion of the consultation a national conference of election reforms will be conducted in May.

“These inputs and recommendations will be clubbed together to make a final advocacy agenda of electoral reforms before the upcoming national conference”, she said.

After the consultation, the participants recommended the following: change in the Electoral Rolls Act 1974 for voters’ registration at the time of CNIC formation; establishment of permanent polling stations; strict enforcement of procedures for consolidating results along with fixing responsibility upon the presiding officers for providing Form XIV including gender disaggregated data of voters at polling stations; comprehensive training of election staff; appointment of polling staff in line with the voters population percentage; installation of CCTVs at sensitive polling stations; introduction of electronic machine; a consolidated voters’ list; involvement of multiple stakeholders at provincial level in finalising delimitation and allocation of suitable symbols to national and provincial contesting candidates.

The recommendations also include: restricting candidate except the party heads from contesting in more than only one national or provincial seats; proper displaying of voters’ list at stations; brining no change in polling schemes before 48 hours of elections; transparent and effective mechanism to settle election related complaints at district level; effective system for making scrutiny of contesting candidates nomination papers; proper training of security staff appointed at polling stations, correction in Nadra system for elimination of fake/double CNICs; automatic re-polling; authorised signature at Form XVII by Returning Officer; appointment of permanent returning officers; and re-poling at polling stations where female turn out remain 0%.