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Event Title :
Senate Committee discusses amendments to the Elections Bill, 2017
Published Date :
Sep 6,2017

Senate Committee discusses amendments to the Elections Bill, 2017

Senate Standing Committee on Law and Justice in its meeting on Wednesday has discussed several amendments to the Elections Bill, 2017 proposed by Senators Azam Khan Swati, Ayesha Raza Farooq and Murtaza Wahab. The meeting was held under the Chairmanship of Senator Javed Abbasi here at the Parliament House and was attended among others by Senators Azam Swati, Ayesha Raza, Murtaza Wahab, Sassui Palejo, Mukhtar Dhamra, Saleem Zia, Saifullah Magsi, Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid.

The amendments discussed in the meeting included administrative and technical amendments as well as replacement of certain words and phrases to make the intention and purpose of the sections clear. The members discussed whether column asking for education details should remain a part of the nomination papers, whether wealth statement form should be added in addition to the assets and liabilities form, whether people with invalid/expired NICs be allowed to cast their vote or not, what should be the mechanism if two candidates request the same electoral symbol, delay in electoral process in a polling station should result in time extension to that polling station or whole constituency among other matters under the purview of the Bill.

The Bill will be discussed in the next meeting again to consider remaining amendments of the Senators. The Committee chairperson and members of the committee praised the efforts of the Minister, all political parties whose legislators were part of the Committee, Election Commission of Pakistan, NADRA and all other stakeholders involved in drafting of this law and termed it a landmark piece of legislation after 18th Amendment. The Committee decided to expedite the amendment consideration process and hold frequent meetings so that the Bill can be passed as early as is possible and can be implemented in the General Elections next year.

The status of The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016 introduced by Senators Sassui Palijo and Mukhtiar Ahmed Dhamra was also discussed as to whether the Bill was passed by the Committee in previous discussion or otherwise. Committee Chairman Javed Abbasi, after hearing the movers and Committee members, decided that the matter will be referred to Chairman Senate who will hear the movers, Chairman Committee, Secretariat as well as the verbatim or audio recording of the Committee and then decide the matter.

The Committee deferred The Public Interest Disclosures Bill, 2017 introduced by Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid till the next meeting to let the members of the Committee be in a better position to comment on the bill.

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