Govt Mulls Amendments In Election Laws

Govt Mulls Amendments In Election Laws
Federal Minister for Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar has on Wednesday said that the government is seriously considering amendments in the election laws to ensure transparent polls in the country.

He revealed this while addressing a stakeholders' conference on electoral transparency jointly hosted by the Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), Coalition for Elections and Democracy (CED), and Fredrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

The law minister stated that the government was considering to present a bill including at least those amendments on which there was already consensus.

Despite the importance of local government elections to democracy and the democratic process, successive governments did not prioritise them, Tarar regretted. He stated, "We must alter our perspective on this."

On the other hand, Senator Haider stated that although the census and delimitations were essential components for free and fair elections in any country, no one discusses these topics.

Muttahida Qaumi Movment-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Mustafa Kamal said that the lack of a transparent census was the reason why his party abstained from the local government elections in Karachi.

Mustafa Kamal claimed that there are significant issues in Karachi's delimitations because some union councils have 20,000 voters while others have 90,000. Houses are counted first in every census, he continued, and sadly, the housing count is based on a defective system.

MQM-P leader Mustafa Kamal further said that although the authorities have been delegated to provincial chief ministers as a result of the 18th Amendment, there is an urgent need to further devolve those powers to district and union council levels.

According to Senator Kakar, holding elections in two provinces will lead to a new catastrophe. "We have two choices; one is managing crises, while the other is conducting elections in accordance with the law," he added. Senator Kakar stressed that managing the problem is a pressing priority right now.