13 sections of Election Amend. Bill in conflict with Constitution Wants PM to consider reservations on electoral reforms bill

Observer Report

The Election Commission of Pakistan has informed the federal government that 13 sections of the National Assembly-approved Election Amendment Bill are in conflict with the Constitution.

The ECP contacted the federal government via the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs about its reservations through a letter. The letter was written by the ECP secretary to his counterpart at the ministry.

The ECP has asked the ministry that Prime Minister Imran Khan be informed about the body’s objections to the bill.

In the letter, ECP said that the bill passed by the National Assembly conflicts with the Constitution. It said that the demarcation of constituencies based on voters rather than the population is not in line with the Constitution.

“The rights regarding the voters list are under the purview of the ECP and 13 provisions of the proposed Election Act are unconstitutional,” said the ECP secretary in the letter.
It also said that using the open ballot method instead of secret voting for the Senate polls conflicts with the opinion given by the Supreme Court.

Sources in the government shared that the letter bearing the date of June 17 was leaked to the media before being received by them and its content has also been published two days back. The ECP said that the proposed law— the Elections (Amendment) Act 2020 — carries an amendment seeking voting through an open ballot which was against Article 226 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

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