Elections committee to decide whether parliament can probe rigging


ISLAMABAD: The first meeting of the sub-committee of the Parliamentary Committee on General Elections 2018 was held here on Wednesday for looking into the terms of reference (ToRs) where it was discussed whether the rigging probe was possible by the parliament in the presence of article-225.

The meeting was chaired by sub-committee convener Shafqat Mehmood and attended by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, Rana Sanaullah and other members from government and opposition sides.

Later, talking to media, Shafqat Mehmood said that on approaching him in writing by people about the matter related with article-225, the chair pointed out the issue in the start of the meeting that in the presence of article-225 where there is any possibility to have an inquiry by the parliamentary committee or parliament on election-related matters.

Article-225 of the constitution, titled “Election dispute”, says that “No election to a House or a Provincial Assembly shall be called in question except by an election petition presented to such tribunal.”

He said that Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry formally raised this point in the committee, saying that in the presence of article 225, there is no possibility of an inquiry by the parliament on the matter.

He said that the members from opposition side were of the view that the boundary of article 225 covers individual election and that it doesn’t cover election as a whole.

He added the chair decided to send a reference to the chairman of the main committee to inform him about receiving objections from members like that of Fawad to know whether, in the presence of article 225, a parliamentary committee can conduct an inquiry or not on the election matters.

He added it was decided that the committee will continue its working and all those political parties who want finalisation of TORs will make sure to join next meeting for discussion before writing the ToRs.

Shafqat Mehmood said that the next meeting of the sub-committee will be held on November 22.

Replying to a question, he said that all matters related with TORs will be in accordance with the law and constitution of the country.