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ECP secretary to brief NA committee on poll arrangements today

February 11, 2013

A view of the National Assembly. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The secretary, Election Commission of Pakistan, will brief the National Assembly Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs on Tuesday on arrangements to be made for general elections.

The committee headed by Syed Mumtaz Alam Gilani of the PPP will also review a bill regarding oath, salaries, perks and privileges of the members of ECP.

The Members of the Election Commission (Salary, Allowances, Perks and Privileges) Bill, 2012, which was moved by former parliamentary affairs minister Moula Bakhsh Chandio in November, says: “A member shall be entitled to the same salary, allowances, perks and privileges as are admissible to a judge of the high court.”

When contacted, Law Minister Farooq H. Naek said he could not tell off the cuff that under which law the ECP members were getting salaries and allowances if the bill had not passed by parliament yet.

Mr Naek said the bill would have to be amended since it had mentioned a two-year term for an ECP member whereas it had now been extended to five years through a constitution amendment.

A member of the committee from an opposition party told Dawn that they would raise the issue of ongoing verification of voters in Karachi, besides discussing the code of conduct prepared by the ECP recently.

SEATS FOR THE DISABLED: The committee will also take up a bill moved by Kishwer Zehra of the MQM seeking allocation of four seats each in the National Assembly and the Senate for disabled persons.

The bill has sought amendments to Articles 50, 51 and 59 of the Constitution that deal with strength of the two houses of parliament. It has suggested that there shall be one reserved seat from each province in the National Assembly which will increase the number of members from 342 to 346.

Similarly, for the Senate it suggests “four disabled persons, who shall be mentally sound and graduate in any discipline of education, shall be elected by the members of each provincial assembly”. If approved by parliament by a two-thirds majority, the number of senators will increase from 104 to 108.