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ECP meets today to discuss rigging allegations


ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has called on a meeting on Wednesday (today) to discuss the rigging allegations levelled by the former ECP additional secretary.
The ECP would share its views over such charges, ECP Secretary Ishtiaq Ahmad. He was talking to reporters after attending a meeting of the Special Committee on Electoral Reforms.
The meeting, held in the Parliament House, was chaired by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. Ahmad told the committee that international observers have termed the 2013 election transparent and their suggestions were also included in the election process. To probe the rigging allegations, the committee called on officials of NADRA and Printing Corporation of Pakistan and magnetic ink manufacturer in the next meeting.   
The secretary presents a draft report regarding proposed reforms in the election laws. He also told the committee that the ECP has received 316 proposals/suggestions from people and all were incorporated in the reforms agenda. 
Dar said that the committee has received 280 proposals from different departments/individuals and other stakeholders about the proposed amendments in election laws to make it more transparent.
According to new reforms, the ECP has demanded more powers, including financial and administrative autonomy, to make the future elections more credible and transparent. The process of election reforms began in 2009 and was still continued, he maintained. 
The ECP secretary also suggested to conduct next election on electronic machines to get rid of printing of ballot papers. Ahmad also suggested that before next general election, there should be a population census and delimitation of constituencies.
He said the Strategic Plan 2014-18, having complete reforms agenda has been presented and the committee needed to put its own input and order for implementation. He also informed the committee that the ECP has disposed of 312 complaints out of total 402 regarding general election 2013.
Talking to journalists after the meeting, Dar said the committee reviewed the decision of previous meeting. Letters were sent to bar councils, civil society and lawyers to send their suggestions to improve election process. 
In response, he said, the committee has received 280 suggestions. 
“Law should be amended if required to make election more fair and transparent,” he added. Dar also claimed that 2013 elections were free, fair and transparent and the international community accepted them. 

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