Elections Bill 2017 Amendments proposed by Dr Arif Alvi

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The Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms was formed after the PTI's relentless struggle against Electoral Rigging.  Four members represented the party: Dr Arif Alvi, Dr Shireen Mazari, Mr Shafqat Mehmood and Senator Shibli Faraz. In its long deliberations there was an attempt to evolve a consensus. A sub-committees was formed to draft a new bill and do away with 9 existing laws, to have everything comprehensively in one place. Another sub-committee that was chaired by Dr Arif Alvi was formed for three important projects, that of Voting of Overseas Pakistanis, Electronic Voting Machines and Biometric Identification of the voter.  More than 80 meetings of the sub-committees were held and with a lot of hard work by PTI members, the Bill was formulated. Because it still carries a lot of flaws which PTI pointed out during its formulation, amendments have been tabled by Dr Alvi after comprehensive party deliberations. A report was also submitted by Dr Alvi to the main committee on the excellent work done by his sub-committee on EVM's, Overseas voting, and Biometric IDs. This report would be posted later.

To see the original Elections Bill 2017 click the link below:

https://www.scribd.com/document/340082664/Elections-Bill-2017

The following amendments have been proposed to The Elections Bill 2017 by Dr Arif Alvi

(read them as insertions and deletions to the bill above)

That in the Bill as laid down before the Assembly:

Chapter II 

Clause 3

      i.         In Clause 3 (1) that after the words ‘office of any’ the word one may be deleted and the word ‘one’ with inverted commas may be inserted. Similarly, after the words ‘members or that any’ the word one may be deleted and the word ‘one’ in inverted commas may be inserted in its place.

     ii.         In Clause 3 (1) after the words ‘decision of the Commission.’ the words ‘The quorum shall be three.’ may be added

Clause 4 

   iii.         In Clause 4 (3) the words ‘no provision or’ may be deleted.

Clause 5 

    iv.         In Clause 5 (1) after the words ‘authority’ the words ‘including the armed forces’ may be inserted.

     v.         In Clause 5 (4) after the words ‘without prior approval’ the words ‘in writing’ may be added.

Clause 8 

    vi.         In Clause 8 (a) the words ‘large scale’ may be deleted.

Clause 9 

  vii.         In Clause 9 (1) Explanation after the words ‘ten percent of the total’ the words ‘female votes’ may be deleted and the following words substituted ‘votes cast’.

Clause 12

 viii.         In Clause 12 (a) after the words ‘officers of the judiciary, if any,’ the words ‘officers of the agencies or the armed forces providing security, if any,’ may be inserted.

    ix.         In Clause 12 (c) after the words ‘regarding the importance ‘ the words ‘maximum voter enrollment and’ may be deleted.

Clause 13 

     x.         In Clause 13 after subsection (1) the following new subsection shall be inserted and the subsequent numbering shall be adjusted accordingly:

(2) The Presiding Officer shall, in pursuance of subsection (1), compile the provisional result of the polling station and forthwith communicate the same electronically in the form of scan of Forms so prescribed to the Commission and physically as well as electronically communicate the provisional result of the polling station to the Returning Officer.

    xi.         In Clause 13 (2) after the words ‘the Commission’ the words ‘before or by 11:59 PM midnight on the polling day. If for any reason results are incomplete at midnight he shall communicate to the Commission reasons thereof, and list the polling stations from which results are awaited, and send the complete result as soon as it is compiled.’

  xii.         In Clause 13 (5) the words ‘aforesaid’ may deleted and the words ‘described in subsections 2,3, and 4’ may be inserted.

Chapter IV

Clause 24

 xiii.         In Clause 24 (1) the word ‘Commission’ may be deleted and the word ‘Revising Authority’ may be inserted.

 xiv.         In Clause 24 (2) the word ‘Commission’ may be deleted and the word ‘Revising Authority’ may be inserted.

Clause 25 

   xv.         In Clause 25 (3) the words ‘The Commission shall forward the data referred to in subsections (1) and (2) to’ may be deleted.

 xvi.         In Clause 25 (3) the word ‘who’ may be deleted.

Clause 28

 xvii.         In Clause 28 after the ‘words as may be prescribed’ the following words may be added ‘and in at least 10 staffed locations in an NA constituency and 5 locations in PA constituency.’

Clause 29

xviii.         In Clause 29 the heading ‘Appointment of Revising Authorities’ may be deleted and a new heading may be inserted ‘Revising Authority’.

xix.         In Clause 29 the whole paragraph starting from ‘The Commission…’ and ending with ‘electoral rolls may be deleted’ and substituted by ‘NADRA shall be the revising authority for change of address.

 

(1) The default address of voting shall be the permanent address, unless a person makes an application to the Revising Authority before the electoral rolls are finalized or as per Section 30 that he wants to vote in the constituency of his temporary address.

(2) In case a person wants to change any of his two addresses and wants that change to be reflected in the electoral rolls also for voting purposes, he shall make an application for change of address to NADRA subject to the provisions in Section 27.

Clause 30 

   xx.         In Clause 30 after the words ‘application for’ the words ‘change of address and’ may be added

Clause 31 

 xxi.         In Clause 31 after the words ‘apply for’ the words ‘change of his temporary or permanent address and therefore’

xxii.         In Clause 31 after the words ‘in the prescribed form’ the word ‘the’ may be deleted and the words ‘change of his temporary or permanent address and therefore’ may be added.

Clause 34

xxiii.         In Clause 34 the words ‘Registration Officer’ may be deleted and the words ‘Revising Authority’ may be added.

xxiv.         In Clause 34 (a) after the words ‘in accordance with the’ the words ‘decision of the Revising Authority under section 33’; and’ may be deleted and the words decisions made under sections 30 to 33’ may be added.

Clause 35

 xxv.         In Clause 35 after the words under section the word ’34, the Registration Officer’ may be deleted and the words ’30-3, the Revising Authority shall transmit relevant data as prescribed in section 25(1) to the Commission which’ may be added.

Clause 36

 xxvi.         In Clause 36 (1) the words ‘Registration Officer’ may be deleted and the words ‘Commission’ may be added.

xxvii.         In Clause 36 (1) after the words ‘by the Commission’ a full stop may be inserted and the words ‘in the prescribed manner and form’ may be deleted. After the full stop so inserted the words ‘The Commission shall request relevant data from NADRA as described in section 25 (1)’ may be inserted.

Clause 37

 xxviii.         In Clause 37 (c) after the words ‘person applies’ the words ‘for change of address and’ may be inserted

xxix.         In Clause 37 (d) after the words ‘person applies’ the words ‘for change of address and’ may be inserted

Clause 40

 xxx.         In Clause 40 (1) after the words section the word ‘39’ may be deleted and the words ’30 to 39’ may be inserted.

Clause 44

 xxxi.         In Clause 44 after the words ‘transfer of his vote under’ the words section 37, section 39’ may be deleted and the words section 30 to 40 may be inserted.

Clause 49

 xxxii.         In Clause 49 (1) a subsection (d) may be added as follows:

(d) ensuring that the officer is from a different Province

Chapter V

 xxxiii.         In Chapter V a new Clause may be added as follows (and subsequent clauses may be renumbered as needed):

49. Rules for selection of Officers: The Commission shall develop rules for eligibility, selection and appointment of officers as required for duties described in this Chapter

Clause 49

 xxxiv.         In Clause 49 (1) a subsection (d) may be added as follows:

(d) ensuring that the officer is from a different Province

Clause 50

 xxxv.         In Clause 50 (1) after the words ‘for each constituency’ the words ‘ensuring that the officer is from a different Province’ may be added.

Clause 54

xxxvl.         In Clause 54 (1) after the words ‘notification of the Election Programme’ the following words may be added ‘or the date of appointment, whichever is later,’ may be added.

xxxvil.   In Clause 54 (2) after the words ‘election official’ the words ‘appointed from within Election Commission of Pakistan or any other government department’ may be added.

Clause 55

xxxviil.     In Clause 55 (2) after the words ‘by notification in the official Gazette’ the words ‘that shall also be simultaneously published on the Website of the Commission’ may be inserted.

xxxixl.   In Clause 55 (2) after the words ‘to which it relates.’ the words ‘The Commission shall also publish the same on their website.' may be added.

Clause 57

  xl.         In Clause 57 the word ‘section 55’ may be changed to ‘section 56’

xli.         In Clause 57 after the words ‘make alterations’ the words ‘, without reducing the time frame mentioned in Clause 56’ may be added.

xlii.         In Clause 57 after the words ‘for the purposes of this Act.’ the words ‘The said altered or fresh programme shall also be published on their website.’ may be inserted.

Clause 58

xliii.         In Clause 58 (1) after the words ‘of that constituency.’ the following words may be added ‘The list shall include the electoral block/s or area/s assigned to each polling station, the number of male/female booths assigned to that station and the number of voters assigned to each station and booth. In no case should the voters in a polling booth shall exceed two thousand. The list shall also be published on the Website of the Commission.’

xliv.         In Clause 58 (2) after the words ‘assigned to it’ the words ‘and within the Union Council of the voters’ may be inserted.

xlv.         In Clause 58 (3) (c) after the word ‘shall’ the word ‘publish’ may be deleted and the words ‘shall inform the Commission and publish in a prominent place’ may be inserted.

xlvi.         In Clause 58 (3) (c) after the words ‘of its publication.’ the words ‘The Commission shall also publish the list on their website.’

xlvii.         In Clause 58 (5) after the words ‘in the district.’ The following words may be added ‘The list shall published on the website of the Commission and shall include:

a.   The name and number of polling station.

b.   Gender type of polling station or booth.

c.    Name/s and number/s of the electoral block/s or area/s assigned to each polling station.

d.   Number of voters assigned to each booth.’

xlviii.         In Clause 58 (7) after the words ‘and with the prior’ the word ‘written’ may be inserted.

Clause 59

xlix     In Clause 59 (1) after the words ‘for that constituency’

     l.         In Clause 59 (2)(d) after the words ‘nomination papers’ the words ‘and for which notice has been issued to him’ may be added.

    li.         In Clause 59 after subsection (3), another subsection (4) may be added.

‘(4) Only a person who is a voter in the province can be nominated for the Provincial Assembly seat of the province.’

 lii.         In Clause 59 (7)(a) after the words ‘copies of’ the words ‘these documents’ may be deleted and the words ‘nomination forms and accompanying declarations and statements’ may be added.

Clause 61

liii.         In Clause 61 (1) after the words ‘Any voter’ the words ‘of a’ may be deleted and the words ‘or a candidate of that’ may be inserted.

liv.         In Clause 61 (2) after the words ‘and a voter’ the words ‘or a person authorized by him’ may be added.

  lv.         In Clause 61 (8) subsection (3) and section 58 are wrongly identified.

Clause 62

lvi.         In Clause 62 (2) the after the word ‘within’ the words ‘such time’ may be deleted and the words ‘the time specified in section 56 or in case of by-elections’ may be inserted.

lvii.         In Clause 62 (5) after the words ‘under this section’ the words ‘on the website of the Commission and’ may be added.

Clause 66

 lviii.         In Clause 66 (3) (b) after the words ‘former member’ the words ‘if he was allotted the symbol previously.’ May be inserted.

Clause 70

 lix.         In Clause 70 the following subsections may be added

(3) The Commission shall take full control of these presses and shall nominate four officers for each press.

(4) The Commission may take assistance of the military or para-military forces to manage the security of the press.

(5) The Commission must ensure 24 hour CCTV camera surveillance of the press, premises and gates of the printing press.

(6) The Commission shall ensure computerized or machine numbering of ballot paper counterfoils.

Clause 73

  lx.         In Clause 73 after the words ‘before commencement of the poll’ the words ‘or during polling hours’ may be add

Clause 75

 lxii.         In Clause 75 (1) after the words ‘may appoint’ the words ‘a person qualified to be elected as a Member’ be deleted and the words ‘a voter’ may be inserted.

Clause 77

 lxiii. In Clause 77 (3) after the words ‘Not more than one ballot box’ the words ‘for each constituency’ may be added.

Clause 82

lxiv.  In Clause 82 (2) after the words ‘to an Assembly or’ the word ‘Senate’ may be deleted and the words ‘local bodies’ may be inserted.

Clause 85

 lxv.         In Clause 85 anew subclause may be added as follows:

(4) The Commission shall send the Challenged Ballot Papers to the National Database and Registration Authority for forensic inquiry to identify both the voters who voted against one entry in the electoral roll and the National Database and Registration Authority shall submit a report confirming the personation or otherwise to the Commission which shall initiate legal action against the person who personated or attempted to personate.

Clause 89

 lxvii.         In Clause 89 in subclause (4) the entire sentence may be delete and the following may be inserted

        a.   Count the votes cast in favour of each contesting candidate, in the following manner:

                                              i.     Open the used ballot box/es from all female polling booths one by one and count the votes;

                                            ii.     Follow the same procedure as in (i) for all male polling booths;

                                          iii.     Record the number of votes from female and male boxes separately on the prescribed form, and only then;

                                          iv.     Mix ballots from male and female booths.

lxviii.         In Clause 89 (6) (b) after the words ‘contesting candidate or an election’ the word ‘or polling’ may be inserted.

Clause 91

lxix.         In Clause 91 after the words ‘Count of the constituency (excluding’ the words ‘votes of Overseas Pakistanis and’ may be inserted.

Clause 94

lxx.         In Clause 94 (5) after the words ‘the Returning Officer shall recount the ballot papers’ the words ‘of one or more polling stations if a request or challenge in writing is made by a contesting candidate or his election agent and the margin of victory is less than five percent of the total votes polled in the constituency or ten thousand votes, whichever is less’ may be deleted.

lxxi.         In Clause 94 (1) after the words ‘time and place fixed for the’ the words ‘full recount and’ may be inserted.

lxxii.         In Clause 94 (1) after the words ‘contesting candidates’ the words ‘and election agents’ may be deleted and the words ‘, their election agents, accredited observers, and accredited members of the media’ may be inserted.

lxxiii.         In Clause 94 (1) after the words ‘as may be present,’ the words ‘do the full recount, and’ may be inserted.

lxxiv         In Clause 94 (1) after the words ‘Results of the Count’ the words ‘furnished by the Presiding Officers’ may be deleted.
lxxv          In Clause 94 (1) after the words ‘Tendered Ballot Papers’ the words ‘votes of Overseas Pakistanis’ may be inserted.
lxvi        In Clause 94 subsection (6) may be deleted.

lxxvii.         In Clause 94 a new subsection (6) may be inserted:

(6) If there is a discrepancy between the recount done by the Returning Officer and the provisional results as compiled from the results sent by the Presiding Officers, the Returning Officer shall record the discrepancy and reasons thereof.’

lxxviii    In Clause 94 (7) after the words ‘but not later than’ the words ‘seventy two’ may be deleted and the words ‘ninety six’ may be inserted.
lxxix      In Clause 94 (7) the entire Proviso may be deleted
lxxx       In Clause 94 (8) after the words ‘The Returning Officer shall,’ the words ‘immediately through electronic means as prescribed and,’ may be inserted.
lxxxi      In Clause 94 (10) after the words ‘the Commission shall, within’ the words ‘fourteen days from the date of publication of the names of the returned candidates in the official Gazette,’ may be deleted.

Clause 190

lxxxii    After Clause 189 a new Clause may be added as follows and subsequent clauses may be re-numbered accordingly:

‘Clause 190: If in the opinion of the Commission or upon request by a candidate and in the opinion of the Commission the request is not un-reasonable, or during hearing by an election tribunal it seems necessary that a forensic inquiry has to be conducted and the NADRA finger print records are matched with the records in the counterfoils, the Commission or Tribunal may request NADRA to conduct such an inquiry and submit a report to the Commission or the Tribunal as the case may be.’

Chapter V

Clause 210

lxxxiii   In Clause 210 sub clause (1) may be deleted.
lxxxiv   In Clause 211 (1) the words ‘fifty million’ may be changed to ‘hundred million’
lxxxv    In Clause 212 Explanation (c) the following words may be added at the end of the paragraph ‘This shall not apply to holders of NICOP’. 

Dr Arif Avi


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  • I hope you would have done good work. But I could not understand why the “improvement” was not done in the “existing laws” and why all “the 9 LAWS have been merged to have everything comprehensively in one place”? All existing 9 Electoral Laws deal with “separate aspects of election”. The merger proposed by the committee will possibly create “CONFUSION” in the minds of those official who shall be responsible for dealing those different aspects. I am of the opinion that only those laws should have been merged which dealt with only one specific area of Electoral Process [e.g. Organizing and Conducting of Election; Formulation of Electoral Rolls/Voters Lists; Rules Related to Delimitation of Election Constituencies and the like]. It appears that your Committee has amalgamated all Different Aspects in One Bill. It will create difficulties in future for Election Personnel. Hope you shall give more time to think on this matter.
    I would like to suggest that before presentation of the Bill in National Assembly, the Suggested Bill should be disseminated to the public. It should be sent to all the Provincial Governments. Some Seminars / Workshops be held on the Subject to gather enlightened opinions of those who are/were involved in Electoral Process [e.g. ECP – Federal/Provincial; Those worked as Returning Officers; FAFEN; Some Officials Worked as Presiding Officers/Polling Officers; Few Who worked as Polling Agents; Political Parties Representatives; and Some DCOs/SDPOs etc.]. I am confident that you shall receive very positive feedback/suggestion for further improvement.
    As I have yet not gone through the original Bill – except having a cursory look – I don’t actually see anything about the Composition of the Election Commission of Pakistan. Have you any idea about the appointment of ECP Members as to how they are going to be selected and on what criteria they be selected? ECP formation is very crucial in Electoral Process?
    Dr. Muhammad Mirza
    Calgary, Canada