ISLAMABAD: Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Tuesday clarified a news item appearing in a section of press on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s statement of “launching campaign against ECP” for not amending the laws.
According to the ECP, this statement of Imran Khan depicts a serious ignorance about lawmaking process, which was lamented and strongly condemned, a press release said.
The ECP clarified that legislation is none of the mandate of the commission adding legislation is the exclusive mandate of the Parliament under the Constitution of the country.
It said, “He is one of them, who is supposed to bring legislation for electoral reforms.”
It said the ECP received the first intimation from the National Assembly Secretariat on August 21, 2014 communicating the formation of Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms with the ToRs.
It added the ToRs included evaluate the short-comings of previous elections and making recommendations for electoral reforms to ensure that elections are held in a free, fair and transparent manner.
Other ToRs were draft legislation or constitutional amendments, if required and recommended ways and means to improve the system of elections including adoption of the latest technology available for holding elections.
It said the ECP was cognizant of its duties under the Rules of Business and had already constituted a Legal Framework Committee (LFC) to conduct research and deliberate on electoral reforms.
This step of the ECP enabled it to provide first draft of Electoral Reforms to the Parliamentary Committee in August 2014.
Besides, draft legislative proposals, ECP also provided comparative statements of the existing and proposed legislation, modalities for introduction of electoral technology, proposals for out of country voting for expatriate Pakistanis and international best practices in respect of Unified Election Laws.
In addition, the ECP has been attending each meeting of the committee and its sub-committee and has so far attended 20 meetings of the committee and 78 meetings of its sub-committee.
It said the attendance of the election commission comprises secretary, additional secretary, directors general law, IT, admn and additional directors general gender affairs and training.
The ECP has made all out efforts to assist the said parliamentary committees by not only providing written proposals but briefings and presentations on each of the area of legislation.
It said the ECP is aware of its constitutional responsibilities for which it is vigilantly striving to perform and deliver as per expectations of the nation and the guidelines given in the Inquiry Commission Report of the Supreme Court on General Elections-2013.
It said the ECP has also taken concrete steps towards fair, free and transparent elections and such steps taken upto December 2016 have been published in its publication namely “Road to General Election-2018”.
The ECP has also devised a prudent HR policy, where all those having established roots in a single place of posting or station for years have been uprooted and transferred.
Moreover, exhaustive training programmes have been started after establishment of Federal Election Academy.
Similarly, a Monitoring, Gender Affairs and Political Finance Wings have been raised to implement the guidelines of the Inquiry Commission Report.
It said the ECP will never be blackmailed by any vested interest for their ulterior motives and will always play on front foot without taking any pressure.