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Election reforms: ECP granted full autonomy to formulate rules

ISLAMABAD -UNS- Federal Minister for Finace Ishaq Dar has on Monday submitted the report of Election Reforms Committee in the National Assembly. Law Minister Zahid Hamid briefed the House regarding the constituents of the report which are being deliberated upon for purpose of credible polls.

Law minister said that Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has been made fully independent and autonomous. He further said that the respective body has power to initiate and implement disciplinary action. He further said that ECP can formulate rules. Addressing the house, Ishaq Dar said that the proposed reforms have been finalised but further changes or improvisations can be made if requested or due to requirements.

The parliamentary committee has prepared the Election Bill 2017 with the amalgamation of previous eight different laws and proposing new measures in different areas of electioneering to further empower the ECP for holding free, fair and transparent elections in the country.

ECP has been empowered to issue specific directions for performance of duties, which are to be enforced throughout the country. It will also possess full administrative powers to exert control on functional basis and conduct transfer of the election officials during the elections and take disciplinary action against them for misconduct.

The ECP commissioner will have full financial powers including powers to create posts within approved budgetary allocations. The ECP is also being empowered to make rules without the need to seek prior approval of the president or the government as such rules will be subject to prior publication, seeking suggestions within 15 days of such publication.

The government had formed a parliamentary committee on electoral reforms headed by Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar in 2014, which drafted the bill after deliberations for more than two years.

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