ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Tuesday approved the recommendations of political parties under the electoral reforms’ process and enhanced the limits of election campaign expenditures from Rs 1.5 million to Rs 5 million. The commission also sanctioned parties’ proposals regarding permanent allotment of election symbols and settlement of electoral objections within 120 days.
Secretary Election Commission, Ishtiaq Ahmed while addressing a news conference after consultation with all major parties said more than 16 political parties reviewed the electoral reforms’ process. The meeting unanimously approved the demands of political parties including enhancement in the expenditures of election campaigns – from Rs one million to three millions in provincial assemblies – from Rs one and half million to five millions. The parties proposed that an election tribunal comprised of retire judges should be formed to resolve the electoral objections and allot permanent election symbol to the parities, which were approved by the commission.
The consultation meeting recommended that those parties contested the 2002 and 2008 elections with same symbols should permanently allot to the parties and eradicate the defaming signs including egg, shoes and lady-finger.
Secretary Election Commission further said that the commission sough the list of 3,000 officers from Grade 17 to 19 from Cabinet Division after the judiciary under the new judicial policy refused hold the electoral process. He however said that the commission filed a review petition before the Supreme Court requesting them to organize the elections under its supervision.
To a query, he said that the statistics division decided to conduct census in the month of March and April and after that the representatives of election commission would collect the electoral data from door to door campaign.
Meanwhile Speaker National Assembly (NA) has constituted 12-member parliamentary committee for restructuring Election Commission (EC) in line with 18th amendment. Eight members of committee have been taken from NA and 4 from senate. Members nominated from NA are Syed Khurshid Shah, Arif Aziz Sheikh, Dr Muhammad Farooq Sattar, Munir Khan Orakzai, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Lt Gen (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Tehmina Daultana and Amir Muqam. Those taken from senate include Haji Adeel, Islam ud Din Sheikh, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haidri and Haroon Akhtar.
Committee comprised parliamentarians from PPP, PML-N, PML-Q, ANP, MQM, JUI-F and FATA. Committee will work for reorganization of election commission in consonance with 18th amendment. EC restructuring is also part of PML-N 10-point agenda.