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June 20, 2021

ECP raises objection to 45 out of 72 amendments: Sherry

 
June 20, 2021

ISLAMABAD: PPP Parliamentary Leader in the Senate Sherry Rehman has said amendments to the Electoral Reform Bill (ERB) are a violation of both the Constitution and the Election Act 2017.

“The amendments made to this bill are controversial and the Election Commission of Pakistan has also expressed reservations which reflect the problematic legislation done by this government,” she said while criticising the government for bulldozing the Electoral Reforms Bill in the National Assembly. She said the PPP will place a number of amendments as the amendments drafted by the government violate the Constitution and the Election Act 2017. “It’s no secret that Tabahi Sarkar has been running the country in a reckless manner but such dangerous legislation is a threat to our democratic system,” she said.

She said it seems that the government wants to disempower the ECP so it could have its way in the next elections. “What they are forgetting is that these amendments are not for one election but for the years to come,” she added. Highlighting the ECP reservations, Sherry said it does not come as a surprise that out of 72 amendments drafted by the government, the ECP does not support, fully or partially, 45 of these amendments. As many as 15 of these amendments have been termed a violation of the Constitution, whereas only 27 amendments have been supported without any objection. “This should serve as a reality check for the government and Tabahi Sarkar’s fixation with open ballot voting,” she said.

The ECP has made it clear that these changes cannot be made without consensus and it has shared its reservations on using the controversial EVMs. “Had the government taken the ECP and the opposition on board, this shoddy legislation could have been avoided but they are more interested in theatrics and hurling abuses at each other,” she said and added the ECP’s letter has made it clear that it wants the government to reconsider the amendments to the Electoral Reforms Bill and take into account its reservations. “It is the government’s responsibility to resolve all issues and address reservations. They need to think beyond party politics and make decisions which benefit the entire country and not just their party,” she said.