ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to introduce a constitutional amendment to change the eligibility criteria for election commission members before the current officers retire in June this year.
This assurance was given to the parliamentary committee on electoral reforms, which met on Thursday.
Naveed Qamar of the PPP told reporters the government agreed to bring an amendment that would incorporate a clause to allow people other than retired judges to become members of the Election Commission of Pakistan.
Opposition parties have been demanding there should be room for appointment of bureaucrats and civil servants as the chief election commissioner and ECP members as well. The current four members of the top electoral body are due to retire in June this year.
Last month, the parliamentary panel had decided to change the eligibility criteria for appointment of the chief election commissioner and ECP members.
The committee members from different political parties, including the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), had agreed upon the amendment.
Under Article 213 of the Constitution, it is essential for the chief election commissioner to be a retired judge of the Supreme Court. Under Article 218, only retired judges of the high courts can be appointed as members of the election commission.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2016.
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