Second interim report on Electoral Reforms presented to NA

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 20 (APP): Minister for Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs and Statistics Muhammad Ishaq Dar on Tuesday presented the second interim report of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms (PCER) to the National Assembly.
Presenting the report in the House, the minister said the main committee had constituted a sub-committee headed by Law Minister Zahid Hamid for the purpose to consolidate 4,000-page suggestions by civil society, experts, bar councils and other strata of society.
He said the sub-committee had held 70 meetings and submitted seven progress reports to the main committee. On the basis of its first interim report of the sub-committee, the 22nd constitutional amendment bill regarding appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner and ECP members was adopted by the Parliament.
Now, he said, on the basis of second interim report another proposed amendment had been introduced for the consideration of members and their input.
The minister said the sub-committee deliberated on nine electoral laws to consolidate them into one law and also frame subsequent election rules. “The proposed bill once adopted into act shall be called the Election Act 2017.”
He said the main committee also held 20 meetings as it discussed the report of the sub-committee on December 20, 2016 and decided to submit the report to the House in the form of a bill.
Dar informed the House that some members had expressed reservations regarding 10 per cent turnout of women voters and it was decided to take up the matter at subsequent meeting of the PCER.
He said with reference to draft constitutional amendment bill 2017, the PCER decided that it might be finalized by the sub-committee by keeping in view the other proposals relating to the constitutional provisions requiring amendments.
It is mentioned here that the committee comprises 33 members from all parties in the National Assembly and the Senate.
The minister said the copy of the proposed amendment bill had been provided to representatives of political parties as well as presented to the House for input.
He said the electoral rules proposed by the committee had also been sent to Election Commission of Pakistan for its input within 30 days.
He said the finalization of this report and the proposed bill once made an act through legislation would prove to be a step forward for revamping electoral process and ensuring further transparency in upcoming elections.