April 14 , 2017
Announcing snap polls is prime minister’s prerogative: Dar
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Thursday ruled out the possibility of snap polls.
“It is a prerogative of the prime minister to announce snap polls but no one could pressure him for early elections in the country,” said Ishaq Dar while talking to newsmen after chairing a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms.
Answering a question with regard to the Panama verdict, the minister said: “We will see when the Panama verdict comes.”He was hopeful that the electoral reforms package would be finalized before the budget.
“Delay in finalizing the electoral reforms package is only because of legislation process of constitutional and legal amendments related to the military courts,” he added.He said it was decided in the meeting that the Sub-committee of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms would meet on a daily basis. Dar said it was their endeavour to consolidate nine different election laws into one and it was after 40 years that efforts were on for reforms.
He said the sub-committee had already met thrice this week and it was their resolve to place the bill on electoral reforms before parliament as early as possible.He said work on electoral reforms remained pending for a long time as from January electoral reforms on a fast pace, the finance minister said.
He said the matter regarding electronic voting and biometrics was also being looked into by a sub-committee headed by Arif Alvi MNA. He said all political parties were jointly working on this national objective of consolidation of different laws into one composite law.
He said the committee held its 21st meeting and overall 102 meetings of both the main committee and the sub-committee have taken place. He said the committee discussed the additional proposals that have been received since submission of its 2nd interim report on electoral reforms to the Senate and National Assembly in December 2016.
He informed that 631 new proposals have been received and the Committee would consider them all. He said the convener of the Sub-committee of Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms Zahid Hamid had done a lot of hard detailed consultations with members of the committee.
Meanwhile, before the parliamentary committee, the sub-committee met here on Thursday with Law Minister Zahid Hamid in the chair. The committee rejected the proposal of PTI for holding the next elections under the supervision of the army.
The sub-committee also rejected the proposal of the PTI for picking returning officers for the next election from the army and decided to keep the current procedure of appointments of the returning officers. Talking to newsmen after the meeting, Zahid Hamid said though the committee disagreed with the proposal of the PTI for appointment of returning officers from the Army and holding elections under the supervision of the army, the committee agreed to the proposal of deployment of army outside the polling stations.
“The decision of deployment of army outside the polling stations was to be taken by the Election Commission of Pakistan,” he added. The law minister said the sub-committee rejected the proposal of the PTI related to the appointment of caretaker government. “The PTI in its proposals opposed consultation between the prime minister and opposition leader on appointment of caretaker government,” he said and added that the PPP had also opposed the PTI proposal relates to new procedure of the appointment of the Caretaker government.
He said the committee had decided to continue the current constitutional procedure of the appointment of the caretaker government. Zahid Hamid said though the members in the committee supported the proposal to lift the ban on parliamentarians for running the election campaign, the Election Commission of Pakistan opposed the proposal and after the opposition the matter had been refer to the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms. He said the sub-committee had completed 65 percent of its task and a report on it would be submitted to the main committee.