Islamabad June 26 2023: Pakistan lower house here on Sunday passed a bill seeking amendments to the Elections Act 2017, aimed at empowering the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to announce poll dates unilaterally.
The bill was moved by Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar.
Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf presented the bill for voting which was passed with a majority.
The amendments also empower the ECP to make modifications to the election program as necessary.
The proposed amendment in Section 57(1) suggested that the commission shall announce the date or dates of the general elections by notification in the official gazette and shall call upon the constituencies to elect their representatives.
The proposed amendment in Section 58 (1) suggested, notwithstanding anything contained in Section 57, the commission may, at any time, after the issuance of notification under sub-section (1) of that section, make such alterations in the elections programme announced in that notification for the different stages of the election or may issue a fresh election programme with the fresh poll date (s) as may, in its opinion to be recorded in writing, be necessary for the purposes of this Act.
Meanwhile, the bill approved also included an amendment to Section 232 (Qualifications and Disqualifications) of the Election Act, 2017.
As per the proposed amendment, disqualification of the lawmaker will be considered for 5 years where the tenure of the punishment is not specified in the constitution.
The disqualification of the person will be considered for five years on the orders of the Supreme Court or high courts.