Islamabad (August 22, 2017): Law Minister Zahid Hamid on Tuesday asked for Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution to be amended during the National Assembly session.
According to the details, the government has decided to amend Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid said on Tuesday.
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The law minister made the announcement during a session of the National Assembly called to debate amendments to the proposed election law put forward by opposition parties.
He said the government will take up the matter with the reforms committee.The government also rejected a suggestion forwarded by Muttahida Qaumi Movement to set the maximum duration of disqualification to five years.
Noting that there was no explicit duration for disqualification set under the current law, he said, “We want the duration of disqualification to be less than five years.”
The National Assembly on Tuesday approved the Election Bill 2017. Law Minister Zahid Hamid presented the Parliamentary Committee on Election Reforms’ report before the House.
According to the new legislation, the president will have to consult the Election Commission of Pakistan before announcing the date for general elections.
Under the proposed law, the ECP will be bound to submit an annual report of its performance to the government, which will be presented before the federal and provincial assemblies.
ECP will have the authority to take action against polling staff for negligence.
Bail of any candidate, who receives less than one-fourth of the total votes, will be confiscated.
ECP will no longer have the authority to make any changes in nomination papers of the candidates.
Candidates will now have 28 instead of 21 days for running the election campaign.
Votes of male and female voters will be counted separately in the general elections.
Limits will be imposed on the budget spent on campaigning by political parties.
Returning officers will not have the authority to publish extra ballot papers.Earlier, the National Assembly concluded a debate on the proposed election law, during which almost all opposition parties raised objections over various clauses of a proposed bill.
Expressing his anger at the opposition for raising objections, the law minister asked why the objections were not raised during the ‘exhaustive’ consultation process.
Hamid added that the time period for disqualification should be less than five years.
Nawaz Sharif was disqualified under Article 62 (1)(f) of the Constitution.
Announcing its verdict, the five-member bench unanimously disqualified Nawaz for failing to disclose his un-withdrawn receivables constituting assets from UAE-based Capital FZE in his nominations papers for the 2013 General Election, stating that this meant he was not ‘honest’ and ‘truthful’, as per the Constitution.
In the verdict, all five judges ruled to send references against Nawaz Sharif, his children Maryam, Hussain and Hasan, son-in-law Captain (retd) Safdar and Ishaq Dar to an accountability court.
The court also ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file a reference against the accused in an accountability court in six weeks and directed for the trial to be wrapped up within six months.