Govt plans to amend election laws: Tarar

ISLAMABAD    –    Federal Law Minister Azam Na­zir Tarar has said that the govt is seriously considering to amend election laws for ensuring trans­parent polls in the country. “We are seriously thinking and care­fully examining that at least those amendments should be included which already have the consensus,” said Federal Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar while addressing a stakeholder’s conference on electoral transparency jointly hosted by Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), Coali­tion for Elections and Democracy (CED) and Fredrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. The conference was attended by Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) Mustafa Kamal, Taj Haider of Pakistan Peo­ple’s Party, Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) Senator Anwar Kakar, Fredrick Neumann’s Birgit Lamm, PIL­DAT’s Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, CPDI’s Mukhtar Ahmed Ali and others. Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar said, 

“Elections are very important but we need to see the environment too.” He said that unfortunately successive govts did not give importance to the lo­cal govt elections which are key for democracy and democratic process. He said, “We need to change our attitude towards this.” Senator Taj Haider of PPP while addressing the conference said that the cen­sus and delimitations were key ingredients for free and fair elections in any country but no one talked about these issues. Mustafa Kamal, a senior leader of MQM, while addressing the conference, said that his party boycotted the latest local govt elections in Ka­rachi and one of the key reasons was the latest cen­sus which was not being carried out transparently.

Talking about delimitations, he said that there were serious flaws in the delimitations in Karachi too as there were union councils where there were 20,000 voters and there were union councils where 90,000 votes were registered. He said that in any census first houses are counted, unfortunately house count was based on flawed system. He also pointed out that after the 18th Amendment the powers were gone to provincial chief ministers. However, there was a dire need of devolving those powers down to district and union council levels. Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf leader Ali Nawaz Awan, while addressing the participants of the conference, said that PTI govt wanted to bring transparency in the electoral pro­cess by introducing electronic voting machine but the incumbent govt stopped the process.

Published in The Nation