ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Federal Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid has said that we have made the Election Commission complete autonomous, and given financial and administrative powers.
In a press conference held at National Assembly after the signing ceremony of electoral reforms report in the Electoral Reform Committee, the minister said that we are working on rules side by side.
The minister said that we received 123 proposals from civil society, lawyers and general public, adding that these proposals were considered and re-circulate; then, again we received 631 proposals and considered.
Zahid Hamid also said that the overseas Pakistanis have right of vote.
“We want their participation in election process,” he said. “We arranged mock exercise of voting through our missions abroad to check the technical issues like financial, secrecy and security.”
The federal minister also highlighted that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) members were with us in every meeting previously.
While further explaining the some important laws in electoral reforms bill 2017, the minister said that the officials of election commission will also take oath for fair elections.
The minister said that the sensitive polling stations will have surveillance cameras.
Zahid Hamid said that now, uniform nomination form will be used for Senate and National Assembly except few specific details. He added that there shall also be uniform formula for number of ballot paper for every polling station.
Moreover, he said that results will be signed by the higher officers of election commission and presiding officer.
The minister 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.
The law and justice minister said that candidates will submit the tax and wealth statement.
Similarly, he said that the fee for new political parties has been increased.
The minister said that the caretaker government will decide day-to-day matters and non-controversial issues. He said that the caretaker government will also submit their financial and tax statements. He said that this new law will also ensure to invite international observer when elections are held.
Zahid Hamid also highlighted that new electoral reform bill ensure more participation of women in electoral process. He said that the parties will give five percent tickets to women candidates.
The federal minister said that it is an historical achievement through such a consultative process.