ISLAMABAD: After receiving names from Senate, Speaker National Assembly on Friday notified the 33-member electoral reforms committee.
The formation of the committee has been completed after Senate Chairman Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari submitted a list of names of senators to NA Secretariat. Earlier, the NA speaker had finalised names of 22 MNAs for the committee and had asked the Senate chairman to submit 11 more names.
“Consequent upon motions adopted by the National Assembly on June 19, 2014 and by the Senate on June 30, 2014, Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has constituted a 33-Member Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform to evaluate the shortcomings of the previous electoral process and make recommendations to hold free, fair and transparent elections,” a notification issued from the NA Secretariat. The proposed committee is expected to submit a report in three months.
There were reports that the PML-N would make Minister for Science and Technology Zahid Hamid chairman of the committee. However, a senior PML-N member told The Express Tribune that Ishaq Dar can lead the committee and Hamid will assist on technical issues. Because in case Hamid is made chairperson he would not be in a position to impart his legal wisdom. Dar has also been put on number one in the notification. While another senior PML-N member told The Express Tribune that his party has no desire to appoint members of its party as head of the committee.
The committee would elect its chairman in its first meeting.
In June, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif sent a letter to the NA speaker requesting him to constitute a parliamentary committee to propose constitutional amendments and an introduction of an electronic voting system in order to address loopholes in the electoral process.
Under Rule 244(B) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007, the house authorises the speaker to constitute the committee in consultation with the Senate chairman and leaders of the parliamentary parties.
The committee comprises of members of all parties in proportion to their representation in parliament and will evaluate the shortcomings of the previous elections and make recommendations for electoral reforms to ensure that polls are held in a free, fair and transparent manner.
The members national assembly in the electoral reform committee include MNA Zahid Hamid (PML-N), MNA Anusha Rehman Khan Advocate (PML-N), MNA Lt Gen (Retd) Abdul Qadir Baluch (PML-N), MNA Murtaza Javed Abbasi (PML-N), MNA Abdul Hakeem Baluch (PML-N), MNA Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry (PML-N), MNA Abdul Rahim Mandokhail (PMAP), MNA Naeema Kishwar Khan (JUI-F), MNA Ghulam Murtaza Khan Jatoi (NPP), MNA Ghaus Bux Khan Mahar (PML-F), MNA Syed Ghazi Ghulab Jamal (IND), MNA Usman Khan Tarakai (AJI), MNA Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao (PPP-S), MNA Ejazul Haq (PML-Z) , MNA Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed (AML), MNA Syed Naveed Qamar (PPP), MNA Shazia Mari (PPP), MNA Sahibzada Tariq Ullah (JI), MNA Shafqat Mehmood (PTI), MNA Dr Shireen Mazari (PTI), MNA Dr. Arif Alvi (PTI), MNA Dr Muhammad Farooq Sattar (MQM).
The list of senators in the committee include Senator Ishaq Dar, Senator Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana, Senator Muhammad Talha Mehmood, Senator Hilalur Rehman, Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani, Senator Farooq Hamid Naek, Senator Haji Mohammad Adeel, Senator Mir Israrullah Khan Zehri, Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, Senator Col Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) has no representation in the Senate and therefore, the Senate list does not include any member from the party.
NA and Senate sessions summoned
Meanwhile, President Mamnoon Hussain summoned the National Assembly to meet in Parliament House on August 4 and the Senate on August 8. Sessions of both houses of parliament have been summoned ahead of the PTI’s proposed march in the federal capital. The NA speaker is expected to issue the notification for the electoral reforms committee prior to these sessions, which will give the government ample opportunity to criticise the opposition for discussing the issue of electoral reform through protests as opposed to in parliament.
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