*The ordinances laid before the House by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Aftab Sheikh pertain to electoral rolls, powers of ECP members and delimitation of constituencies
The government Thursday presented two ordinances in the National Assembly (NA) to amend the existing election laws pertaining to holding of Local Government (LG) Elections and powers of the members of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Both the ordinances laid before the House by Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Aftab Sheikh pertained to electoral rolls, powers of the ECP members and delimitation of constituencies.
In the Electoral Rolls (Amendment) Ordinance 2014, four amendments have been proposed in Section (2), Section (4) and Section (27) of Electoral Act 1974 that provide that the Commission shall regulate its own procedure and it may also authorise one or more of its members, acting singly or together, to exercise and perform all or any of its powers and functions under this Act.
As stated, these amendments have been made to bring the Local Government Elections within the purview of the ECP.
The second ordinance that relates to Delimitation of Constituencies provides that the commission shall delimit constituencies for elections to local governments as early as possible in accordance with the provisions of Election Act 1974 and rules made thereunder.
Constituencies of all local government institutions shall be delimited as early as possible in accordance with the criteria and principles laid down in this Act and the rules made thereunder, or as the Commission may, by order or by rules, determine.
According to the ordinance, delimitation disputes and other matters relating thereto including representation shall as early as possible be decided in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder, or as the Commission may, by order or by rules, determine.
In the discharge of its functions, the Commission may take such steps and measures, adapt such laws, rules and procedures, make or adapt electoral rolls, do such acts, pass such orders, issues such directions and take such ancillary, incidental and consequential steps as may be deemed necessary for effectively carrying out the purposes of this section and conducting LG Elections honestly, fairly and justly.
The ordinance further provides that for the purpose of election to local government, the Commission shall divide such local government into as many as separate territorial constituencies and the number of councils/ seats for direct election as provided in the respective federal or provincial local government laws.
In this ordinance a new section has been proposed in Election Act providing that the Commission may make rules to carry out the purposes of the Act.
It has been stated that the Ordinance has been promulgated in light of the Supreme Court decision directing the Federal Government to make necessary enactment to empower ECP to carryout delimitation of constituencies of local governments.