Political parties heaved a sigh of relief as a sub-committee of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms on Wednesday reached a consensus that political parties would be bound to hold intra-party elections within a period of six years, providing two-year relaxation.

“All the political parties demanded that there should be six years time period instead of four years for holding intra-party elections,” Law Minister Zahid Hamid, who chaired the sub-committee meeting at the Parliament House, told reporters.

The law minister said it would be mandatory for every political party to hold intra-party elections once in every six years.

“Earlier the parties were bound to hold intra-party elections once in every four years… there has been a feeling that this time period was very short,” he maintained.

Hamid told reporters that the committee has agreed to prepare a similar nomination form for the candidates contesting for National Assembly, Senate or Provincial Assembly seats.

When asked about the reservations expressed by the Election Commission of Pakistan over making nomination forms part of proposed Election Act 2017, the law minister said the parliamentary committee headed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar would take up the matter.

“The decision was made by parliamentary committee [in this regard] so it will take the final decision,” he added.

Hamid said the sub-committee has decided to relax condition regarding ceasing the security deposit of contesting candidates.

“We have decided that the candidates who get less than a quarter of the polled votes would lose his security deposit. Earlier the committee had raised the bar to one-eighth of polled votes,” the minister said.

Hamid, who is also the convener of the sub-committee, hoped the committee would meet last time next week to finalise the draft of Election Act 2017.

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