Nawaz proposes parliamentary body for electoral reforms

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday proposed setting up a parliamentary committee to finalise recommendations on electoral reforms.
The committee would submit its report within three months. In a letter addressed to National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, the prime minister said given the importance of the matter, the parliamentary committee may prepare comprehensive recommendations to ensure free, fair and transparent elections in the country. Nawaz said the parliamentary committee may consider suggestions to amend the constitutional provisions relating to caretaker governments and the adoption of the latest technology currently available for holding elections. 
He suggested that the parliamentary committee may comprise representatives of political parties from both the treasury and opposition members in both Houses. The above proposal may be placed before the august National Assembly in the first instance, and if the House so approves, it may authorize you to constitute the Parliamentary Committee in consultation with the Chairman Senate,” the Prime Minister said. 
The Prime Minister mentioned in his letter that he had been informed by Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Finance that the Committee of both the National Assembly and Senate had done substantial work on electoral reforms during 2011 and 2012-13 respectively, culminating in two reports. These included Report of the Sub-Committee of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs relating to Amendments in Electoral Laws (October, 2011); and Report of the Senate Special Committee on Election Issues (February, 2013). 
The Prime Minister said apart from some minor amendments made through an Act of Parliament and certain proposals adopted by the Election Commission of Pakistan, the legislation to give effect to the recommendations contained in the two reports could not be enacted due to expiry of the tenure of the National Assembly.

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