Brief History of ECPThe second constituent assembly succeeded in framing and adopting the first constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 1956, 9 years after independence and 6 years after constitution of India was adopted in 1950. This constitution provided for election to national and provincial assemblies on the adult franchise basis. The election commission was established under the 1956 constitution comprising chief election commissioner of the commission and such numbers of election commissioners as may be determined by the president of Pakistan. The term of office of the election commissioner was five years with upper age limit of 65 years. Election commission was charged with duties of preparation of electoral rolls, their annual revision, organization and conduction of elections in assemblies. A separate institution "Delimitation Commissioner" was also provided for delimitation of constituencies.
ECP was ceasedIn 1958, Martial law was imposed and constitution was abrogated. Consequently, election commission was also ceased to exist.
Electoral college 1962Another constitution was adopted in 1962 which provided for election of members of national and provincial assemblies through electoral college consisting of 80,000 Basic Democracy members. This time CEC was to be appointed by president of Pakistan for a term of three years. Chief election commissioner enjoyed the perks and privileges of judge of Supreme court of Pakistan. The commission had two members, one each from West and East Pakistan who were judges of their respective high courts. The 1962 constitution lasted only 6 years and again abrogated by another Military General.
Constitution 1973The National Assembly in 1973 unanimously adopted the present constitution. It provided for election commission consisting of one Chairman election Commissioner and members who were to be judges of High courts. The number of members of election commission was raised to four by the election commission order 2002, which later became a part of constitution through 17th amendment.
Chief Election Commissioner
- 213. (1) There shall be a Chief Election Commissioner (in this Part referred to as the Commissioner), who shall be appointed by the President.
- (2) No person shall be appointed to be Commissioner unless he has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or has been a senior civil servant or is a technocrat and is not more than sixty-eight years of age.
- (2A) The Prime Minister shall in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, forward three names for appointment of the Commissioner to a Parliamentary Committee for hearing and confirmation of any one person: Provided that in case there is no consensus between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, each shall forward separate lists to the Parliamentary Committee for consideration which may confirm any one name.
- (2B) The Parliamentary Committee to be constituted by the Speaker shall comprise fifty percent members from the Treasury Benches and fifty percent from the Opposition Parties, based on their strength in Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), to be nominated by the respective Parliamentary Leaders: Provided that the total strength of the Parliamentary Committee shall be twelve members out of which one-third shall be from the Senate: Provided further that when the National Assembly is dissolved and a vacancy occurs in the office of the Chief Election Commissioner, total membership of the Parliamentary Committee shall consist of the members from the Senate only and the foregoing provisions of this clause shall, mutatis mutandis, apply.
- (3) The Commissioner or a member shall have such powers and functions as are conferred on him by the Constitution and law.
Oath of Office214. Before entering upon office, the Commissioner shall make before the Chief Justice of Pakistan and a member of the Election Commission shall make before the Commissioner oath in the form set-out in the Third Schedule. Term of office of Commissioner and members.
Commissioner not to hold office of profit
- 216. (1) The Commissioner or a member shall not-
- (a) hold any other office of profit in the service of Pakistan; or
- (b) occupy any other position carrying the right to remuneration for the rendering of services.
- (2) A person who has held office as Commissioner or a member shall not hold any office of profit in the service of Pakistan before the expiration of two years after he has ceased to hold that office.
Mandate of the Election CommissionThe Constitution of Pakistan charges the Election Commission with organizing and conducting elections in an honest, just and fair manner, in accordance with the law. The Commission is required to take steps to guard against corrupt practices in the electoral process. The Election Commission’s specific responsibilities include the following:
- Preparing electoral rolls for National Assembly, Provincial Assembly and local government elections and revising them annually
- Delimitation of constituencies
- Organizing and holding general elections to the National Assembly, Provincial Assemblies and the local government bodies
- Organizing and conducting elections to the Senate and by-elections to fill vacancies in the National and Provincial Assemblies and the Senate
- Appointing Election Tribunals
- Holding election to the office of the President.
Terms and qualifications for the Election CommissionThe CEC and the Members of the Election Commission are appointed for five-year terms and cannot be removed, except through the Supreme Judicial Council; the same procedure used to remove Judges of the Superior Courts. A person may be appointed as Chief Election Commissioner if he or she is (or has been) a Judge of the Supreme Court or a Judge of a High Court and is qualified to be appointed as a Supreme Court Judge. To be a Member of the Election Commission, a person must be a former Judge of a High Court. There are four High Courts in Pakistan – one in each of the four provinces.
Appointment processPreviously, the CEC and the Members were appointed at the sole discretion of the President. After the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, the Members and the CEC are now selected through a consultative process between the government and opposition and approved by the President. The Parliamentary Committee is constituted by the Speaker of the Assembly, and consists of 12 Members of Parliament, half of whom are nominated by the government and half by the opposition.Nominees are recommended by the parliamentary leaders of the political parties. At least four of the members of the committee must be from the Senate; if the National Assembly has been dissolved; all members of the committee will come from the Senate. When there is a vacancy, the Prime Minister, in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, forwards three names to a Parliamentary Committee for hearings and confirmation. If the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition do not agree on the list of three proposed names, each of them will send a separate list of names to the Parliamentary Committee for consideration. The Parliamentary Committee makes its selection by a simple majority vote and forwards the name of the agreed upon candidate to the President for appointment. If at any time the office of the CEC is vacant or he is absent or unable to perform his functions for any reason, the Chief Justice of Pakistan nominates one of the Judges of the Supreme Court to act as an acting CEC until the appointment process is complete or the regular CEC returns.
Financial and administrative autonomyFinancial and administrative autonomy is an important strategic issue for election management bodies and largely determines their degree of independence from the Government. As a constitutionally independent body, the ECP receives its required operational funding from the annual federal budget through the Ministry of Finance. Apart from its regular expenses, the ECP also has a supplementary budget for electoral activities and special projects, including conduct of elections, preparation/revision of electoral rolls, IT infrastructure etc.The Election Commission is the five-person team within the ECP that has the legal and constitutional powers to conduct elections. They also have the authority to appoint persons to positions in the ECP and to run the organization. The ECP can re-appropriate its allotted funds as it sees fit. The current financial autonomy that the ECP enjoys is based on an Office Memorandum of the Finance Division, but no concrete legislation is in place. The Election Commission has the power to upgrade or re-designate any post and promote its staff. However, it does not have the power to create new or abolish existing posts as its needs change. New posts are created by the Finance Division and sometimes require the approval of the Prime Minister. The ECP establish a committee under the chairmanship of the CEC comprised of representatives of the Finance, Establishment and other divisions to recommend the creation of new ECP posts. Their recommendations are then approved by the government.
Five-Year Strategic PlanIn 2010, the ECP released its first Five-Year Strategic Plan 2010-2014. The plan was developed by the ECP based on consultations with voters, political parties, civil society and international stakeholders working under the umbrella of the Election Support Group. The ECP’s strategic plan consists of 15 goals that cover various aspects of electoral operations and procedures, legal reform, stakeholder outreach, and internal organizational reform and capacity building. According to IFES’ assessment, by December 2012, three years into the five year implementation period, the ECP had achieved approximately 80% of their strategic plan.
Gender diversityThere is a striking gender imbalance within the ECP; however, it has committed itself to addressing the imbalance as part of its Strategic Plan. Objective seven of Strategic Goal #7 aims to increase the representation of eligible women within the ECP to at least 10%. During the months leading up to the 11 May 2013 general elections, the ECP recruited 31 new female employees at various levels, bringing the total number of female staff to 42. Despite this progress, women still account for only 1.8 percent of the ECP’s 2,228 employees, and there are no women in senior management positions.
List of executives
|Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza||Chief Election Commissioner||+92-51-9205611|
|Mr. Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad (Sitara Imtiaz)||Secretary Election Commission||+92-51-9206062|
|Mr. Pir Maqbool Ahmad||Provisional Election Commissioner ( Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)||091- 9211036|
|Mr. Sharif Ullah||Provisional Election Commissioner ( Punjab)||042- 99211015|
|Mr. Naeem Majeed Jafhar||Provisional Election Commissioner ( Balochistan)||081- 9202334|
|Mr. Yousaf Khattak||Provisional Election Commissioner ( Sindh)||021- 99203385|
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