ECP hope­ful of pos­i­tive re­ply from Pres­i­dent

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE -

Af­ter some wran­gling last week, the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of Pak­istan (ECP) ex­pressed the hope on Mon­day that it would re­ceive a pos­i­tive re­ply from Pres­i­dent Asif Ali Zar­dari over a draft sent to him for ap­proval of changes in nom­i­na­tion pa­pers of elec­tion can­di­dates.

The com­mis­sion had ear­lier set March 11 as the dead­line for the pres­i­dent to ap­prove the changes sent by the law min­istry but ex­tended this dead­line till March 12, as the pres­i­dent is out of the coun­try. Ad­di­tional Sec­re­tary ECP Afzal Khan told the me­dia in Is­lam­abad that the elec­tion com­mis­sion will strengthen the demo­cratic in­sti­tu­tions of the coun­try by tak­ing con­crete steps. “The en­tire coun­try will bear fruits of th­ese steps.”

The ad­di­tional sec­re­tary added that the ECP has all the rights and will strictly fol­low the given elec­tion sched­ule. He also re­quested the me­dia to re­frain from sen­sa­tion­al­is­ing news and to send “se­ri­ous and se­nior” peo­ple to cover the elec­tions. “They should take it as a na­tional re­spon­si­bil­ity.”

Ear­lier, the changes in the nom­i­na­tion forms sug­gested by the ECP were re­jected by the law min­istry. Bar­ring a cou­ple of cos­metic changes, the min­istry had re­jected all the amend­ments out­right, in­clud­ing those seek­ing the fi­nan­cial de­tails and crim­i­nal his­tory of the as­pir­ing can­di­dates. The ECP, how­ever, had put its foot down, de­fend­ing the pro­posed changes as con­sti­tu­tional and told the min­istry to re­fer the mat­ter to the pres­i­dent, who is the fi­nal author­ity.

Mean­while the Law Min­istry has sent the doc­u­ment of nom­i­na­tion pa­pers for fi­nal ap­proval by the Pres­i­dent of Pak­istan, Asif Ali Zar­dari. Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports, the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of Pak­istan had di­rected the Law Min­istry to send the nom­i­na­tion pa­pers af­ter clar­i­fy­ing reser­va­tions to the Pres­i­dent of Pak­istan at the ear­li­est.

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