Parliament passes the Election (Amendment) Bill 2023

National AssemblyParliament passes the Election (Amendment) Bill 2023

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Parliament in its Joint Session passed “The Elections (Amendment) Bill 2023” on Wednesday.

The bill empowers the caretaker government to take actions or decisions regarding existing bilateral or multilateral agreements or the projects already initiated under the Public Private Partnership Authority Act 2017, the Inter-Governmental Commercial Transactions Act 2022 and the Privatization Commission Ordinance 2000.

The Federal Minister for Lawa Azam Nazir Tarar said that amendments in the Section 230 of the Elections Act 2017 are aimed to ensure that the decisions already taken by the Federal Cabinet do not face any hiatus.

The Election (Amendment) Bill 2023 envisages measures aimed at ensuring timely compilation and announcement of election results.

Under the bill, the President Officer shall immediately take a snapshot of the result of the count and as soon as connectivity is available and it is practicable sent it electronically or through other appropriate technologies to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Returning Officer (RO) before sending the original documents under Section 90.

The Returning Officer shall compile complete provisional results as early as possible and shall communicate these results electronically to the ECP.

In case the results are incomplete by 02.00 am on the day immediately following the polling day, the Returning Officer shall communicate to the Election Commission provisional results as consolidated till that time along with reasons for the delay. In writing, while listing the polling stations from which results are awaited and thereafter shall send the complete provisional results as soon as compiled but not later than 10:00 am.

The bill further provides that officials of law enforcement agencies shall be posted for security duties outside the polling stations but in an emergency may be called inside by the President Officer to restore order and peaceful polling.

Under the bill, the contesting candidates may use their existing bank accounts for election expenses.

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Mian Raza Rabbani while addressing the Joint Session of the Parliament reiterated that proposed amendments in section 230 of Elections Act regarding caretaker setup as it stood yesterday was opposed but I am grateful to the Law Minister for revisiting the proposed amendment in light of reservations expressed by a number of Parliamentarians.

Senator Raza Rabbani remarked that it is a beauty of the Parliament that the government is guided by the Wisdom of the House.

Mian Raza Rabbani said that though the proposed amendment has been modified but I still feel that no matter what, these powers should not be with caretaker government.

Mati-Ullah is the Online Editor For DND. He is the real man to handle the team around the Country and get news from them and provide to you instantly.

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