ISLAMABAD: PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has urged the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to invite all opposition parties for consultation on electoral reforms.
In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja the opposition leader called for a consensus-based reform plan to be presented before Parliament for passage to “ensure that future elections are fair, transparent and reflect the genuine will of the electorate”.
“In view of the complaints of rigging in the 2018 Elections, there is a dire need for evolving a national consensus on electoral reforms to ensure that next general elections are held in fair, free and transparent manner, without any interference,” Shehbaz Sharif wrote in the letter.
“The present government’s unilateral actions to force its electoral reforms agenda without any consultation with the stakeholders, which conflicts with many constitutional provisions, will make future elections controversial,” he said.
Shehbaz Sharif said the ECP has itself expressed serious concerns regarding the recent elections bills bulldozed through the National Assembly in an objectionable manner. Any election-related legislation must be based on broad-based consensus, he stressed.
“Fore meaningful electoral reforms, institutions have to ensure stakeholders’ input and ownership. The spirit of upholding the constitution must be at the center of the reform plan,” he maintained.
“The Election Commission of Pakistan is the Constitutional body responsible for holding of free, fair and impartial elections in the country. It is thus responsibility of ECP to hold an inclusive dialogue with all political parties in the country on the subject of electoral reforms.”