Based on its comprehensive observation and process of refinement involving input from political parties and workers, civil society organizations and student/youth groups. FAFEN’s recommendations for reforms cover critical aspects of elections relating to pre-election, election-day and post-election processes in order to ensure free, fair and transparent elections. The recommendations seek to maximise autonomy, transparency, accountability and efficiency of electoral and at the same time protect the rights and entitlements of voters and candidates in a way as required by the country’s constitution.
The recommendations propose amendments to:
- Eight sub-clauses and seven clauses of eight articles and two complete articles of the Constitution of Pakistan
- Twenty-two sub-sections and eight sections of the Representation of People Act (ROPA), 1976
- Four sub-sections of two sections of the Conduct of General Elections Order, 2002
- One sub-section and one section of the Delimitation of Constituencies Act, 1974
- Two sub-sections of a section of the Election Commission Order, 2002
- Three sub-sections and four sections of the Electoral Rolls Act, 1974
- One section of the Political Parties Order, 2002
In addition, the recommendations proposes insertion of:
- Additional provisions in two articles of the Constitution
- Overhaul of Chapter XII of the ROPA, 1976
- Additional provisions in nine sections of ROPA, 1976
- One section of Political Parties Order, 2002
The aforementioned amendments and insertions in the legal framework are covered in as many as 65 measures through 110 interventions. These measures and interventions are spread across fifteen chapters. Each chapter tackles a critical issues area of the existing election framework.
The chapters are arranged in a logical sequence around priority issues. For instance, the first three chapters deal with the composition, appointment, institutional autonomy and accountability of the Election Commission. The next three chapters recommend changes in the legal framework to streamline voter registration and to make the process of delimitation of constituencies and polling scheme equitable, timely and transparent.
The six following chapters deal with the operational aspects of the elections. The chapters propose, the means for objective and transparent candidacy process for both general and reserved seats, allocation of reserved seats on proportional share in votes polled, legally-sanctioned regulation of campaign and political finances of both candidates and political parties, provision for legally-sanctioned and regulated independent observation, transparent election result management and comprehensive dispute settlement mechanism covering all aspects and phases of the elections.
The last three chapters address issues involving the extension of voting rights to overseas Pakistanis and the use of technology in ensuring efficient election management, and advocates the need for bringing together all legal instruments governing elections into one unified election law. The unification of legal Acts and Orders will help remove inconsistencies, discrepancies and contradictions not only in the existing legal framework but will also help prevent the same from happening in the future.
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