ECP holds Election Act Amendment Bill in conflict with constitution

Election commission of Pakistan

ECP holds Election Act Amendment Bill in conflict with constitution

ISLAMABAD, (June 16, 2021) The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has held the Election Act Amendment Bill 2020 in conflict of the Constitution of Pakistan.

After a meeting of ECP presided over by the Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja, it declared the Election Act Amendment Bill in contradiction of the constitution.

At least

five points in the amendment bill were indicated which were in contradiction of the constitution

.

The meeting considered the amendments to the said bill and possible changes to take place after these amendments.

The ECP has already submitted its position to the concerned standing committee through the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. The ECP expressed concern that its position on the said amendments was not discussed in the committee.

The ECP considers certain provisions of the Election Amendment Bill 2020 to be against the constitution. It [ECP] has the power to prepare and review the top electoral rolls, the press release read.

Under Article 219 of the Constitution, the Election Commission has several basic functions. Under Article 222 of the Constitution, these powers cannot be abolished or reduced. But these provisions have been deleted in the said amendment bill, it said.

Press release further said, “This will make it impossible for the Election Commission to review the electoral rolls. The proposed amendments call for constituencies to be based on voters rather than population. Under Article 55 of the Constitution, seats in the National Assembly are allocated on the basis of population.”

Furthermore, the amendment to hold Senate elections through an open ballot goes against the Supreme Court’s ruling, it said.

The issue of i-voting for overseas was also discussed in the meeting.

A third-party audit pointed out mistakes in the electronic voting system as well, according to the ECP.

The audit company recommended not using the system.

The ECP said it witnessed demonstration of e-voting machines of two international firms.