EC seeks India-like powers to conduct elections: Report

ISLAMABAD - In the process of introducing reforms, the Election Commission of Pakistan has decided to empower itself with administrative powers similar to those in India, Express News reported on Thursday.

By Afzal Khan

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Published: Fri 25 Jan 2013, 11:57 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 3:42 PM

The decision was taken during a meeting presided over by Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim.

The ECP session discussed electoral and administrative issues. The commission agreed to complete the candidates’ document verification process in 30 days as agreed between the government and cleric Tahirul Qadri in a deal to end his 5-day sit-in in Islamabad at the head of tens of thousands of people that crippled the capital.

The reforms introduced by the ECP makes the entire government machinery subordinate to the commission as soon as the election schedule is announced.

The ECP is also likely to get the right to transfer secretaries, police chiefs and other government officials during the period.

The Election Commission has decided to impose a fine of Rs100,000 and/or imprisonment of three to five years for fake voting. It approved the draft of a bill that defines what would fall under the category of corrupt and illegal practices during the elections, which includes casting a fake vote or inducing someone else to cast a certain vote.

Security deposit has also been enhanced. Candidates for the National Assembly would be required to pay Rs50,000 and Rs25,000 for provincial assembly polls.

The commission asked the government to allocate more funds amounting about rupees five billion for conducting the polls.

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