Parliament's joint sitting passes Elections (Amendment) Bill 2023

Parliament's joint sitting passes Elections (Amendment) Bill 2023

Islamabad (Web Desk): The joint sitting of the parliament on Wednesday passed "Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2023" aimed at ensuring free, fair and transparent polls in the country.

The bill was moved by Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi.

The bill empowers the caretaker government to take actions or decisions regarding existing bilateral or multilateral agreements or the projects,the Radio Pakistan reported.

Taking the floor, Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar clarified that no new powers are being given to the caretaker government.

He said that amendments in the section 230 are aimed to ensure that the decisions already taken by the federal cabinet do not face any hiatus.

The bill envisages measures aimed at ensuring timely compilation and announcement of election results.

Under the bill, the President Officer will immediately take a snapshot of the result of the count and as soon as connectivity is available and sent it electronically to the Election Commission and the Returning Officer before sending the original documents under Section 90.

The Returning Officer will compile complete provisional results and shall communicate these results electronically to the commission.

In case the results are incomplete by 02.00 am on the day immediately following the polling day, the Returning Officer shall communicate to the Commission provisional results as consolidated till that time along with reasons for the delay.

In writing, while listing the polling stations from which results are awaited and thereafter shall send the complete provisional results as soon as compiled but not later than 10:00am.

The bill further provides that officials of law enforcement agencies shall be posted for security duties outside the polling stations but in an emergency may be called inside by the President Officer to restore order and peaceful polling.

Under the bill, the contesting candidates may use their existing bank accounts for election expenses.

The law minister said that under the bill, a period of six months has been given to decide election petitions.