Monday, September 25, 2023

Election Act Amendment Bill passed by majority vote, ‘limited’ increase in caretaker government’s powers

Election Act Amendment Bill passed by majority vote, ‘limited’ increase in caretaker government’s powers
Back on the decision to grant unlimited powers, the People’s Party and JUI(F) had refused to support the bill
The amendment bill in the Election Act 2017 has been approved by the Parliament by majority vote, the differences between PPP and JUIF regarding Article 230 have been resolved in the meeting of the Election Reform Committee on the amendment bill. It was agreed to give. However, with the approval of the bill, there will be some increase in the powers of the caretaker government.

After the Election Act Amendment Bill was approved by Parliament, the joint session was adjourned till 11:30 on August 7.

According to the important points of the Election Amendment Bill 2023 passed by the Parliament for election reforms, 54 amendments have been added to the bill, including the amendment of the Election Act 230.

According to the amendment, the supervisory government will be able to take steps or decisions where necessary in relation to existing bilateral or multilateral agreements under the Public Private Partnership Authority Act 2017, Governmental Commercial Transactions Act 2022 and Privatization Commission Ordinance 2000.

The caretaker government will not be able to enter into any new agreement, it will not have the authority to make decisions on ongoing bilateral and multilateral agreements, however, the caretaker government will have the authority to discuss with the institutions on the already ongoing projects.

According to the bill, the presiding officer will be obliged to take a picture of the result immediately and send it to the Election Commission and the Returning Officer. I have to give a solid reason to the presiding officer.

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After the amendment, the successful candidate will be required to take oath on the seat of the National Assembly or Senate within 60 days. will do

According to the amendment, 4 million to 1 crore can be spent for the National Assembly seat, while 20 to 40 million can be spent on the election campaign for the provincial seat. Security personnel will perform duty outside the polling station. 2 lakh will be fined.

Decision regarding Section 230
Federal Law Minister Prime Minister Nazir Tarar, who presented the bill, said that it is necessary to clarify what was said here yesterday, today the Chairman Electoral Reforms consulted again, a decision was made regarding Section 230.

He said that today the Chairman Electoral Reforms Committee consulted again and a decision has been taken with reference to Section 230. Along with day-to-day affairs, there were additional powers and deputation amendments which were deemed unnecessary and these amendments no longer form part of the Bill.

According to the Law Minister, now only those amendments are part of the bill which are 100% agreed.

Denial of PPP and JIU(F).
Earlier, the government coalition parties had refused to support the bill related to the amendments in the Election Act, which was discussed in the meeting of the Committee on Election Reforms.

By persuading the government’s main allies JUI (Fazlur Rehman Group) and People’s Party, Federal Law Minister Azam Nazir along with Ayaz Sadiq and Murtaza Javed were on the move to get the support of Bill.

It should be noted that serious reservations were being expressed on the part of the coalition parties regarding the increase in the powers of the caretaker government under this bill.

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Under Section 230 of the Election Act, it has been said that the powers of the caretaker government should be increased and they can take decisions in the best interest of the country.

Important Amendments to Election Act 2017
Amendments to the Elections Act, 2017 proposed to increase the fiscal powers of the caretaker governments, in addition to providing for measures related to agreements with international organizations and foreign governments.

In the amendments, Rs 40 lakh to Rs 1 crore can be spent on the National Assembly while Rs 20 to 40 lakh can be spent on the provincial campaign. According to the amendments, there will be a penalty of two lakh rupees in case of non-conduct of intra-party elections.

The amendments also propose changes in the electoral code of conduct along with increasing the financial powers of caretaker governments.

According to the amendments, there will also be changes in the nomination papers form, within three days of the general elections, the political parties will have to provide the priority list for the specific seats to the Election Commission.

Moreover, the Election Commission has to decide on the electoral excuse within thirty days, otherwise the winning candidate will be declared the winner.

Apart from this, the Returning Officer will send a copy of the results to the Election Commission without wasting time, the constituencies will be divided based on the equal number of registered voters, the change in the number of voters in the constituency will not be more than five percent.

According to the amendments, an appeal against the decision of the commission on the list of constituencies can be filed in the Supreme Court within thirty days.

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NADRA will be obliged to immediately send the data of the new ID card holders to the Election Commission so that they can be registered in the voter list in time.

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