ISLAMABAD - The Sub-Committee of Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms has proposed legislation to grant maximum powers to Election Commission of Pakistan and bring all the election staff , including returning officers under its administrative control.
The sub-committee meeting was held with Federal Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid in the chair at Parliament House on Tuesday. Officials of Election Commission of Pakistan gave briefing to the committee.
In the light of the earlier discussion in which the officials of Election Commission of Pakistan had expressed its helplessness in case of any complaint against the staff deputed on elections duties, including returning officers, the sub-committee recommended legislation on the matter of enhancing the administrative powers of the Election Commission of Pakistan so that it could take action against the staff deputed on elections duties, including returning officers.
In a brief chat with media persons after the committee’s meeting, Zahid Hamid said they had recommended bringing election staff , returning officers and security officials on election duties under the administrative control of the Election Commission of Pakistan, so that in case of a complaint against any of them quick action could be taken there and then.
He further said they were working with the spirit of making the Election Commission of Pakistan more independent and powerful to remove anomalies in the existing electoral system in the country.
He asserted they were reviewing the laws and rules governing the functioning of Election Commission of Pakistan and would propose necessary amendments in it where needed. He said no independent candidate could be given the symbol of a party and that he would have to contest the election as an independent candidate.
Sources aware of the deliberations of the meeting informed The Nation that the officials of Election Commission of Pakistan initiated briefing to the members on Political Parties Order 2002 and would continue with it at the next meeting of the committee as well, which would be held on November 24.
The sub-committee would also be given a detailed report on electronic voting machines by the Election Commission of Pakistan in comparison with other prevalent voting systems in vogue in modern democracies.
It is pertinent to mention here that in the previous meeting the sub-committee members were given demonstration of electronic voting machines by the officials of Election Commission of Pakistan, but they failed to satisfy the members on the error-free performance of these machines.