Election Commission of Pakistan

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This article is about the body which oversees elections in Pakistan. For similar title in other jurisdictions, see Election Commission.
Election Commission of Pakistan
Emblem of the Election Commission of Pakistan.svg
Agency overview
Formed March 23, 1956; 58 years ago (1956-03-23)[1]
(17 October; National voters day[2])
Preceding Agency Constitution of Pakistan
Jurisdiction Constitution of Pakistan
Headquarters Islamabad Capital Venue
Motto ان تودوا الامنٰت الىٰ اهلها = to render the trusts (such as the affairs of the state) to their owners (those who are competent to it), Quran 4:58
Agency executives Justice Nasir-ul-Malik[3], Chief Election Commissioner
Ishtiaq Ahmed, Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)[4]
Website www.ecp.gov.pk

The Election Commission of Pakistan (Urdu: الیکشن کمیشن پاکستان‎), is an independent, autonomous, and constitutionally established federal institution responsible with the function of administrating the general electoral process in Pakistan.[5]

The commission supervises and oversees fair and impartial general election process all over the country at regular consecutive five intervals as per the principles enlightened by the Constitution of Pakistan. The election commission is an independent and permanent institution rules under the specific laws defined by the constitution.[6] The election commission was first formed on 23 March 1956 and has been restructured and reformed in various occasions of history of the country.[1] The constitution grants superintendence powers to election commission to direct and control of all elections to state parliament, provisional legislatures, local governments, and of indirect elections of the President of Pakistan.[7]

Under the Article 239I, the election commissioner is chaired by the appointed Commissioner, four judges of from four provinces of the country, all of whom are appointed by the President in the manner provided for appointment of the Commissioner in the constitution.[8] As of present, former judge Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim currently constitute the election commission as its appointed Chief Election Commissioner.[9]

Functions and Constitutional definition[edit]

The functions and duties are defined and set by the Constitution of Pakistan in Article 239I in Chapter1. The Commission charged with the following duties:

  1. Preparing electoral rolls for election to the National Assembly and the Provincial Assemblies, and revising such rolls annually,
  2. Organizing and conducting election to the Senate or to fill casual vacancies in a House or a Provincial Assembly; and appointing Election Tribunals
  3. the holding of general elections to the National Assembly, Provincial Assemblies and the local governments; and
  4. Such other functions as may be specified by an Act of State Parliament.

Autonomy and independence[edit]

The Commission has retains its independence, full financial autonomy and functions independently of all government control.[11] Without the government interference, the commission performs its functions and conduct of nationwide general elections as well as for the by-elections which is decided by the chief commission or the Election Commission itself.[12] The preparation of polling schemes, the appointment of polling personnel, assignments of voters and arrangements for the maintenance of law and order are under the control, supervision and directions of the Election Commission.[11]

During its rulings and judgements in the case " Election Commission v. Javed Hashmi, the Supreme Court held that "in the election matters the Election Tribunals which are to be appointed by the Chief Election Commissioner" have exclusive jurisdiction and the jurisdiction of all courts in such matters was excluded.[13] However, this is subject to an exception that where no legal remedy is available to an aggrieved party during the process of election or after its completion, against an order of an election functionary which is patently illegal jurisdiction.[13] The effect of which is to defranchise a candidate, candidate can press into service Constitutional jurisdiction of the High Court.[13] The Supreme Court of Pakistan has since then consistently followed this judgment.[13]

Transaction of business[edit]

The Commission transacts its business by holding meetings. All members of the Election Commission have equal status and say in the decisions of the Commission.

Judicial review[edit]

Judicial review of the decisions of the Election Commission can be sought in the High Court and the Supreme Court of Pakistan if the order suffers from a jurisdictional defect or is mala fide or coram non judice.

Budget and expenditure[edit]

The budget of the Election Commission is provided by the federal government.

Any re-appropriation within the sanctioned budget can be done by the Chief Election Commissioner without making any reference to the Finance Division.

Funds required for preparation of electoral rolls and the conduct of General Elections and by-elections are provided in lump sum by the Finance Division according to the requirements of the Election Commission.

Further distribution of funds to the various functionaries is done with the approval of the Chief Election Commissioner.

International support[edit]

The Election Support Group, an internationally supported group of interested parties, made 32 specific recommendations to the Election Commission based on the recommendations of 16 international organizations.[14] A meeting was held in October 2009 to present these ideas to the Commission.[15] The Commission commissioned ESG to provide them with a recommendations on how to best solve the addressed problems.[15]

Also, in 2006, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems implemented a 9 million dollar contract through USAID to install a computerised electoral rolls system for the Pakistani government.[16]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Administrators. "1956 Constitution". Story of Pakistan. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Voter’s Day – A First In Pakistan’s History!". 
  3. ^ http://ecp.gov.pk/sp/cec-message.html
  4. ^ http://ecp.gov.pk/sp/foreword-secretary.html
  5. ^ Election Commission of Pakistan. "Election Commission of Pakistan". Election Commission of Pakistan. Election Commission of Pakistan. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "PART VIII Elections: Chapter 1: Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissions". Constitution of Pakistan. Constitution of Pakistan. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  7. ^ Const Pakistan. "PART VIII (contd) Elections Chapter 2. Electoral Laws and Conduct of Elections". Constitution of Pakistan, Chapter II. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Article 239I". Article 239I. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  9. ^ CEC. "Message from the Chief Election Commissioner". Chief Election Commission Secretariat. Retrieved 2 January 2013. 
  10. ^ "Chapter 1: Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissions". Constitution of Pakistan. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Shaheen, Sikander (December 1, 2011). "ECP seeks full autonomy". The Nation. The Nation. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  12. ^ Dawn.COM (14 September 2012). "President Zardari gives green signal for election preparation". Dawn News. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d "ELection Commiccion of Pakistan". ELection Commiccion of Pakistan. ELection Commiccion of Pakistan. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  14. ^ International Foundation for Electoral Systems (2009). "Election Support Group". Retrieved October 25, 2009. 
  15. ^ a b "CEC-ESG discuss Electoral Reforms Recommendations". Islamabad: The Associated Press of Pakistan. 12 October 2009. Retrieved October 25, 2009. 
  16. ^ Computerised electoral rolls system installed Daily Times (Pakistan), September 10, 2008. Accessed July 23, 2009.

External links[edit]