ISLAMABAD: On Tuesday, the Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry expressed concern over the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to postpone reforms for the Senate electoral procedure for the next polls.

Fawad Chaudhary commented on the ECP decision to postpone bringing reforms in Senate elections while addressing a press conference in the federal capital. The ministered termed the ECP’s actions as “weak”. “It is surprising the ECP has postponed reforms till the next elections […] however, the Supreme Court had given a different opinion,” the science minister said.

The ECP earlier today had issued the details of its meeting after the apex court’s decision on the Presidential Reference. According to the minutes of the meetings, the commission is taking all possible steps and measures to fulfil its constitutional duty to end corruption in Senate elections.

Furthermore, the meeting affirmed that the SC has held that the election to the Senate of Pakistan is under the Constitution and the law which is through a secret ballot.

“The Supreme Court in short order mentioned that the Election Commission is required to utilise the technologies and to develop a mechanism for the fulfilment of its constitutional duty in terms of Article 218(3) of the Constitution.”

To draft a procedure within four-weeks that would comply with the Supreme Court directives the ECP decided to constitute a three-member committee to take input from different professional/technical organisations. The committee may also take assistance from NADRA, FIA and the Ministry of IT.

The minister criticised the ECP’s decision and said that the Supreme Court’s orders were very easy to implement. “Election Commission’s job is not only to distribute ballots but also to make the election transparent.”

Turning his guns towards the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), he said that despite clear numbers indicating that PPP can not win a senate seat from the National Assembly and yet the opposition party had nominated a candidate. “What option does PPP have other than buying people and horse-trading.”

Continuing his criticism of the opposition, Chaudhry further added that Maulana Fazlur Rehman can not bring any substantial change and only relies on the “use of madrassah children”. 

“Senate election is the last battle, after that there will be general elections,” added the minister, “the Opposition’s attempts at political manoeuvring has failed miserably.”


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