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ECP’s letter

Chief Election Commissioner retired Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza has written letters to the heads of 15 mainstream political parties, underlining the need for early passage of the election bill 2017 to ensure that the ECP gets sufficient time to make appropriate arrangements for the 2018 general elections. In his letter, the CEC said that early passage of the electoral reforms package was necessary to ensure timely procurement of the election material, printing of new forms, training of over 700,000 polling staff, carrying out delimitation, enlistment of political parties and appointment of returning officers and district ROs.
He expressed the fear that in case of delayed enactment of the law, timely completion of these activities could become an enormous challenge for the Election Commission. He pointed out that he had also written a letter to the National Assembly speaker on April 4, highlighting that the parliamentary committee on electoral reforms should urgently bring its recommendations to parliament. He regretted that even after three months the bill had not landed in parliament. `Since your party is part of the parliamentary committee on electoral reforms, you are requested to perform this national service as soon as possible ` the letter said. It called for bringing the law before parliament for passage to give ample time to the commission for the preparations.The letter was sent to Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif as the Pakistan Muslim League-N chief, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan, Pakistan Peoples PartyParliamentarians` Asif Ali Zardari, Muttahida Qaumi Movement`s Dr Farooq Sattar, Awami National Party`s Asfandyar Wali Khan, Jamiat Ulema-iIslam-Fazl`s Maulana Fazlur Rehman, PML-Quaid`s Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party`s Mehmood Khan Achakzai, Qaumi Watan Party`s Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, PML-Functional`s Pir Sibghatullah Shah, Awami Muslim League`s Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, Jamaat-i-Islami`s Sirajul Haq and others
The current political crisis has gripped the country and created uncertainty. All political parties are busy to take the benefits from the current situation and adopting their strategies in this regard. It is looking that electoral reforms process would not be completed before the next general election. The Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms conducted brainstorming sessions and completed most of its task. The election commission has already requested to complete remaining work on urgent basis so that it could get maximum time to make arrangement for the next general election in accordance with the new law. It seems government and all political parties are not genuinely interested in reforming the election process and they are delaying the bill. The ECP can be strengthened through enhanced administrative and financial powers and arrangements for holding of elections. The government and all political parties should take the call of Election Commission of Pakistan very seriously and should complete the work on electoral reforms bill as soon as possible. The bill should be tabled it in Parliament. It will be good to hold upcoming election under new law so that the free, fair and transparent election could be arranged and complains of rigging and other issues could be avoided.

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