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PR No. 149 “ELECTION COMMISSION HAS BEEN MADE COMPLETE AUTONOMOUS TO MAKE ELECTION PROCESS FREE AND FAIR.” ZAHID HAMID Islamabad

A press conference was held at National Assembly after the signing ceremony of electoral reforms report in the Electoral Reform committee. The press conference was chaired by Federal Minister for law and Justice.

Minister for Law and Justice, Zahid Hamid informed the media persons that we are working on rules side by side. He also highlighted this achievement has been gained after the exhaustive hard work of two and a half years. We received 123 proposals from civil society, lawyers and general public. These proposals were considered and re-circulate. Then, again we received 631 proposals and considered.

He also added that the overseas Pakistanis have right of vote .We want their participation in election process. We arranged mock exercise of voting through our missions abroad to check the technical issues like financial, secrecy and security. He also highlighted that PTI members were with us in every meeting previously.

He further explained the some important laws in electoral reforms bill 2017. He said we have made election commission complete autonomous and given financial and administrative powers. The officials of election commission will also take oath for fair elections. The sensitive polling stations will have surveillance cameras. Now, uniform nomination form will be used for senate and national assembly except few specific details. There shall also be uniform formula for number of ballot paper for every polling station. He further added that results will be signed by the higher officers of election commission and presiding officer. He also told the media that previously toss was used to declare winning candidate when two candidates had equal votes, but now toss will be deciding factor that first half term will be served which candidate. Candidates will submit the tax and wealth statement. The fee for new political parties has been increased. The caretaker government will decide day-to-day matters and non-controversial issues. The caretaker government will also submit their financial and tax statements. This new law will also ensure to invite international observer when elections are held. He also highlighted that new electoral reform bill ensure more participation of women in electoral process. The parties will give 5% tickets to women candidates. Federal Minister for Law and Justice also said it’s an historical achievement through such a consultative process.

Senator Ishaq Dar also talked to media and said this electoral reform has consolidated the election reforms. The electoral reforms bill 2017 will be  presented in both houses and new elections will be held under new laws.

The press conference was also attended by Federal Minister for IT Anusha Rehman and Senator Mushahidullah.

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