ECP wants elections under judiciary
18 October, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Acting Chief Election Commissioner Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani has said the commission was in favour of holding the next general election under the supervision of the judiciary.
Addressing a seminar held at the Election Commission office on Wednesday in connection with National Voters Day, the acting CEC said he had written a letter to the chief justice of Pakistan, asking him to review the National Judicial Policy and allow the appointment of judges as district presiding officers and returning officers.
The seminar was attended by leaders of different political parties and members of the civil society. He said proposals received from political parties and other organisations concerned were being considered by the commission. He said it had been laid down in the National Judicial Policy that the judiciary would not perform duties in the next election so it could concentrate on its original functions. However, the commission considered the matter of organising next elections under the supervision of the judiciary and it was agreed to make a request to the CJP in this regard.
Acting Election Commission Secretary Muhammad Afzal briefed the participants about arrangements made by the Election Commission. He said the commission had prepared a code of conduct for the upcoming elections, which had been given to political parties for their feedback.
He said so far 80.32 million voters had been registered and if elections were held in March 2013, another 68,000 voters would be enrolled, taking the total to 90 million. He said four million overseas Pakistanis had been given the right to vote, but how they would cast their vote is yet to be decided.
Meanwhile, major political parties in the Senate agreed to expedite the process of key electoral reforms needed before the general election, including ensuring full participation of women as voters as well as candidates. The Special Committee of the Senate on Electoral Issues at a public hearing held on Wednesday reiterated its commitment to the greater role of parliament for electoral reforms and said the agenda of reforms would be carried forward in consultation and collaboration with political parties, civil society, ECP and other stakeholders.
Committee convener, Jahangir Badr, said they intend to forward recommendations to the ECP, NADRA and other institutions for administrative measures.