50 amendments to poll law proposed
ISLAMABAD, May 28: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice proposed on Monday over 50 amendments to electoral laws with a view to making the Election Commission more powerful, independent and financially autonomous. The committee headed by Nasim Akhtar Chaudhry of the PPP discussed the report submitted by a sub-committee and approved it after a few amendments.
MQM’s S.A. Iqbal Qadri, the convener of the sub-committee which had prepared the report, told Dawn that draft recommendations would now be sent to the EC for its comments before taking them to parliament for legislation.
He said the EC would be asked to propose a unified law for conducting elections in the country.
He said the sub-committee had basically improved the draft proposal for electoral reforms prepared by the EC.
Giving salient features of the proposed amendments, Mr Qadri said it had been suggested that the EC would get more financial autonomy and it would have the powers to transfer money from one head to another from the allocated budget without prior permission of the finance ministry.
He said under the proposed law the EC would be empowered to take punitive action against violators of the election code of conduct—that there should be a complete ban on the use of banners and billboards during the election campaign.