Opposition parties raise objections on the bill
ISLAMABAD, Aug 18 (SABAH): Suspending Friday’s business through a motion, the National Assembly started discussion on the Election Bill 2017. Meanwhile the opposition parties have raised the objections on the bill. The motion for initiating debate on the bill was tabled by Law Minister Zahid Hamid.
Taking part in the discussion, the members said that the draft of the Election Bill 2017 has been prepared after vigorous efforts of the all political parties during a period of about three years.
They said that the bill should be finalized in such a way that no one can raise objection on the next General Elections otherwise all the efforts will go in vain.
The members said that the overseas Pakistani should be granted right to vote in the next General Election.
They said that new Election Commission should be constituted for the next General Elections.
They said that election expenditures should also be specified to encourage participatory democracy.
The members said that the caretaker government should be formulated on fifty percent proposals each from the Government and Opposition.
They said that the biometric system should be introduced in the next General Elections for verification and identifications of the voters.
They said that the necessary amendments in the constitution should also be made accordingly. The discussion will also continue on Monday and there will be no question hour.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Dr Shireen Mazari raised objections over the bill for electoral reforms and argued that overseas Pakistanis should be allowed to vote. She said PTI actively participated in the electoral reforms committee, adding that all members of the parliament have taken part in this process. She said PTI has many reservations on the bill. She said Election Commission should be made sovereign. She said that Election Commission should be appointed through parliamentary committee, adding that 50 percent members each from government and opposition should be included in the committee.
Shireen Mazari said that new Election Commission should be formed for the independent and transparent elections. She said caretaker government should be appointed through parliamentary committee consisting of 50 percent members from each from opposition and government, adding that for this constitutional amendment should be passed.
PPP’s Syed Naveed Qamar said he does not see the implementation of biometric voting machines in the 2018 general elections. He said if the rigging allegations will be leveled after the 2018 elections then it will be the collective failure of all of us. He said it is time to overcome the shortcomings, adding that we could not take risk and we should have to make collective decisions.
Parliamentary Leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami Sahibzada Tariqullah said that powers of the high court has been given to the Election Commission, adding that it is the responsibility of the commission to implement these powers and should hold next elections in transparent manner. He said JI has reservations regarding the election expenditures, adding that Pakistanis living abroad should be given the right of vote. He said there is need to move forward the process of biometric verification process.
Meanwhile the National Assembly observed one minute silence on Friday to express solidarity with the people of Spain in wake of the terrorist attack in Barcelona. The House will now meet on Monday at three in the afternoon.