Electoral Reforms Bill salient features

Electoral Reforms Bill salient features

ISLAMABAD: Giving details of the draft Electoral Reforms Bill, Zahid Hamid said special measures would be undertaken to encourage enlistment of women voters in case there was a difference of more than 10 percent in the number of male and female votes.

All the political parties would have to issue 5 percent tickets to female candidates on general seats. Disabled voters would be provided with the postal ballot facility, he added. He said delimitation of constituencies would be carried out after every 10 years.

Zahid Hamid said the recommendations for electoral reforms had been prepared with consensus by the parliamentary committee.

The Sub-Committee of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms , he said, would mull over the required constitutional amendments before presentation of the reforms bill to parliament for approval.

He said the recommendations envisaged total financial, administrative and functional autonomy for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The ECP would be empowered to take disciplinary action against officials deputed from other departments and ministries for election purposes.

The commission would be required to prepare a comprehensive action plan six months ahead of any elections to seek input and objections from the political parties and candidates, he said.

A formal complaint system, he added, would be introduced to lodge complaints about malpractices before elections and for their redressal.

The law minister said that votes would be counted and the result would be compiled at the polling station, and the Form-14 containing results, would be transmitted to the returning officer and the ECP through a mobile application to ensure prompt transmission of results.

In case victory margin was less than 5 percent or 10,000 votes, recounting would be mandatory, he added.

A uniform system of printing of ballot papers, he said, would be introduced for all constituencies.

Under the reforms package, he said a citizen would be automatically registered as a voter once he or she was issued a Computerised National Identity Card and no application would be needed for the purpose.

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