ECP re­jects Se­nate body's re­form pro­posal

The Pak Banker - - NATIONAL -

The Elec­tion Com­mis­sion of Pak­istan (ECP) has made it clear that it can dis­charge its con­sti­tu­tional man­date with­out any in­ter­ven­tion from any quar­ter.

The ECP's ob­ser­va­tion was in re­sponse to a pro­posal re­cently made by the Se­nate Spe­cial Com­mit­tee on Elec­tion Is­sues that a par­lia­men­tary body may be en­trusted with the task of mon­i­tor­ing a long-term process for elec­toral re­form.

Headed by Ja­hangir Badr, the Leader of House in the Se­nate, the com­mit­tee had rec­om­mended that a per­ma­nent com­mit­tee of each house of par­lia­ment or a joint com­mit­tee com­pris­ing mem­bers from both the houses be set up to deal with elec­toral is­sues, to fi­nalise pro­posed amend­ments to the Rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Peo­ple's Act.

"The com­mit­tee should be given the man­date to in­tro­duce a frame­work for par­lia­men­tary over­sight of the ECP and to work on im­prove­ment of a sus­tain­able elec­toral frame­work," the report said.

In a let­ter writ­ten on be­half of the ECP to Se­nate Sec­re­tary Raja Amin by ECP Sec­re­tary Ish­tiak Ah­mad Khan, it was con­veyed that some parts of the report were found to be "deroga­tory to the man­date given to the ECP by the con­sti­tu­tion" un­der Ar­ti­cles 216 to 226 to do ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble within the am­bit of law for hold­ing elec­tions in a free, just and trans­par­ent man­ner and to guard against cor­rupt prac­tices.

"Any power ex­er­cised by the ECP out­side this man­date can be struck down by the su­pe­rior courts, but no com­mit­tee of ei­ther house or a joint par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee can med­dle or ex­er­cise over­sight on the man­date given to the ECP by the con­sti­tu­tion," the let­ter reads.

Con­sid­er­ing the in­cor­po­ra­tion of the part re­lat­ing to the ECP's over­sight in the longterm goals as a di­rect af­front to its man­date given by the con­sti­tu­tion, the com­mis­sion said it would take all pos­si­ble le­gal mea­sures to con­front such an at­tempt by any com­mit­tee or an in­di­vid­ual.

" The par­lia­ment is allpow­er­ful to make or amend the laws to give more pow­ers to the ECP to ac­com­plish its man­date in ac­cor­dance with the pro­vi­sions of the con­sti­tu­tion.

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