ECP not to attend PERC meetings due to confidentiality breach: Fida

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ISLAMABAD, March 6 (APP): Additional Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Fida Muhammad Monday said the commission had decided that in future it would not attend any meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms due to breach of its confidentiality.
Talking to mediamen along with Director Public Relations Altaf Ahmed here, he said the body in its rules of procedure had decided that all proceedings would be confidential and in-camera.
But on March 2, he said, a Member of National Assembly (MNA) in a sub-committee meeting intentionally levelled the pre-poll rigging allegation on the ECP over the appointment of provincial election commissioners for the next general election.
Upon this, the Secretary ECP had left the meeting in protest, he added.
Moreover, Fida said, a Senator moved a privilege motion in this regard, which according to him (Additional Secretary) breached the confidentiality of internal proceedings.
He said the matter was put before the ECP, considering that the members’ such an attitude was against the parliamentary norms, the committee’s oath for the rules of procedure and sanctity of the ECP.
So, he said, the ECP today (March 6) had informed the Speaker National Assembly that it would not attend any meeting of the Parliamentary Electoral Reforms Committee onward, requesting appropriate action against the members, who violated the rules of procedure and breached the confidentiality.
The additional secretary said the ECP participated in 20 meetings of PERC and 78 of its sub-committee with good intention since 2014.
Secretary ECP, Additional Secretary, Directors General (Law, IT and Admin) and Additional Directors General Training/General Affairs had been attending these meetings.
During the meetings, he said, the ECP contributed by suggesting effective legislation, comparison between existing and proposed laws, possibility to use modern electoral technology besides sharing research on international best practices and the polling method for overseas Pakistanis.