ECP secretary claims commission has become powerful, autonomous


ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Secretary Babar Yaqub Fateh Mohammad on Monday claimed that a powerful and autonomous election commission has come into existence in the country without being subservient to the government.

Speaking at a seminar, titled ‘Election Act 2017’, the ECP secretary said that the commission had got such powers which were not even available to the Election Commission of India. He said that elections in India were not held under the supervision of the judiciary and army because all the political parties there respected the rules laid down by the election commission.

Mohammad regretted the fact that more than 10 million women voters have not been registered with the commission and the political leadership was not ready to consider it as an important issue. He also made it clear that the ECP had the power to take action in matters related to contempt of court cases. He further said that no lasting solution could be found for giving the right of vote to overseas Pakistanis.

The ECP secretary said they were not against the use of technology in the holding of elections but they were also not ready to adopt any new technology without testing it first. He emphasised that no such experiment should be carried out in the country due to which accusing fingers would later be pointed at the ongoing democratic process.

Moreover, the secretary suggested that electronic voting machines should be manufactured in the country at lower costs rather than importing them from abroad. In the end, Mohammad said that the election commission had to put in more effort to successfully hold next year’s general elections by learning from the mistakes made during the 2013 elections.