- ECP has suggested several amendments to the election rules.
- The ECP has proposed amendments to 23 clauses of the rules.
- The objections to the proposed changes can be submitted by Oct 7.
ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has suggested several amendments to the election rules as it prepares for the polls expected early next year.
The ECP has outlined the changes which suggest new obligations for the candidates contesting elections. The ECP stated that Section 239 of the Election Act, 2017, empowers the commission to make rules for the conduct of polls.
“[…] in view of different scenarios and to resolve the predicaments arisen with time, the Election Commission has carried out various amendments in rules,” it stated.
The amended rules include 51, 52(3), 56(3), 66(4), 71(2), 84(4), 85(2), 87(2), 134(1), 134(2), 134(2A), 134A, 137(1), 143(1), 143(4), 158(1), 158(3), 161(1), Form41(g), Form41(h)(ii), Form 67, Form 68, and Annexures, and Form 69.
The electoral watchdog has also given a deadline for raising objections to the proposed changes, which can be submitted by October 7. The ECP has proposed amendments to 23 clauses of the rules.
The Returning Officers will prepare the results of the respective constituencies by 2 AM. If the results are not compiled by two o’clock in the night, the RO will inform the ECP of the received results.
The results of the remaining polling stations can be completed by 10 AM. The RO shall inform the Election Commission in writing of the delay in the results, the proposed amendment states. According to the amendment, postal ballot papers received after poll day will not be included in the count.
Election tribunals will be able to decide on a petition within 180 days. The relevant party will pay the cost of the hearing beyond the prescribed period by payment of Rs 10,000 to 50,000. Election tribunals will not be able to adjourn hearing for more than three days.
The ECP has tightened supervision over the intra-party elections of political parties. The heads of the political parties will release the schedule of the intra-party elections.
The head of the political party will give the schedule to the ECP 15 days before the intra-party election. After seven days of intra-party elections, the complete report and certificate will be given to the ECP.
The political parties shall provide the voter list of intra-party elections and the complete process of verification and nomination to the ECP. Political parties will release the complete report of intra-party elections on their websites.
The Election Commission has extended the scope of the form related to the asset declaration. Candidates and Members of Parliament will provide complete details of assets in their statements. They must submit complete details of land, property, money and other assets.
Candidates will be required to operate a separate bank account for poll expenses. The candidates will deposit the sum of money with an application for contest in the national treasury, and it will not be refundable.
The candidates will maintain a register of receipts and payments and all financial records and details to support payments for election expenses, and submit them to the returning officer.
Moreover, if a candidate allows another person to bear his election expenses on his behalf, they must also maintain a record of it.
The ECP will reconcile the total sum of expenses recorded in Forms C, 67 and 68 within the permissible limit of the election expenses of the returned candidate.
The RO will publish the list of contesting candidates with their respective symbols in his office, furnish a copy to the contesting candidate, district election commissioner, the provincial election commissioner and ECP, which will upload it for display on its website.
The RO will in the presence of contesting candidates and one of their election agents duly authorised by such candidate, open the packet containing the ballot papers excluded from the count by the presiding officer.
The RO will personally seal the provisional and final consolidated statement of results of the count and final consolidated results after preparing on Form 47, 48 and 49, respectively.
Two new forms namely Form-67 and Form-68 shall be added after Form 66. The Commission shall reconcile the total sum of expenses recorded in Forms C,67 and 68 within the permissible limit of the election expenses of the returned candidate.
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