PR No. 96 Islamabad

The Federal Minister for Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar chaired the 14th meeting of the Electoral Reforms Committee at the Parliament House this evening.

Mr. Zahid Hamid, Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Electoral Reforms, briefed the Committee that the Sub-committee had conducted 46 meetings till now and had reviewed Seven laws related to the Election Process in Pakistan. Mr. Zahid Hamid also briefed the Committee that the draft of the “Unified Election Act” and the “Unified Election Rules” was in the final stages of preparation in consultation with the members of different political parties. The final draft will be presented to the main Committee within the next 2-3 weeks.

The Committee was also informed that the new rules propose to announce the ‘Action Plan of the Elections’ six months prior to the date of elections so that the process is complete before the caretaker government assumes office. The recommendations also give out the procedure of the immediate declaration of the Election Results and the method of filing and disposing off Election Petitions and the issues related to filling of form#14. The new recommendations will also lay down the procedure to conduct the Local Government and Senate Elections. The recommendations from the members of Senate regarding the Senate Elections are complete and will soon be sent to the Sub-Committee to be incorporated in the final draft.

The Finance Minister stated that the matter of Right of vote for the Overseas Pakistanis also needed to be resolved. He also referred to the Supreme Court directions in this regard.

The Committee also approved the name of Mr. Arif Alvi from PTI as the Chairman of another Subcommittee of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms to submit proposals on voting rights for overseas Pakistanis, use of electronic voting machines and biometric verification of the voters. The Finance Minister said that the Committee welcomes the valuable suggestions from all sections of the political leadership as well as the members of the Civil Society.” we have looked into over 4000 suggestions received from the different sections of the society. The purpose of all this work is to make well thought out recommendations which will benefit the election process in the times to come.”

The Minister also said that the main committee will conduct its next meeting as soon as the Sub-Committees complete their work. The Minister also asked the members of all the political parties to seek the opinion of their political parties on the draft recommendations as the process requires input and approval from the political leadership of the country.