Pakistan News, Elections in Pakistan 2013 – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has ordered to print proposed nomination forms for electoral candidates although it awaited an approval by President Asif Ali Zardari.
The commission explained that it had sent the nomination form (for electoral candidates) to the president for approval under section 107 of Representation of the People Act (ROPA) on Feb 20, the ECP said in its statement issued on Monday.
Thereafter, the commission did not get any response until the meeting with Federal Law Minister Farooq H. Naek on March 7, during which the minister said that he had a number of objections to the proposed form, the statement said, adding that the ECP asked the law minister to submit his objections in writing immediately so that the same may be considered by the ECP.
Subsequently, the law ministry sent its objections in writing on March 8. Following which a reply was immediately sent on behalf of the ECP on the same date wherein it was stated that the ECP did not agree with the objections of the ministry and requested to send the proposed form to the president for approval latest by March 11, the commission stated.
“Today it is March 11 and as the printing of the nomination forms has to start today, therefore, the commission cannot wait for the president’s approval any longer,” said the statement.
In these circumstances, the ECP noted that it was of the view to print the proposed nomination form without waiting for the approval.
Dilating on legality, the commission stated that the legal basis for this is that (i) it is the mandate of the ECP to conduct free, fair and transparent elections under Article 218 of the Constitution, (ii) the approval of the president under section 107 of ROPA is merely a formality and (iii) the Supreme Court has stated in the Worker’s Party case that the ECP “is empowered and independent to do all that is necessary to fulfil its constitutional mandate and instruct that it do so.”
“In of view the above, the ECP has issued direction for printing of the proposed nomination form forthwith,” the commission stated. Agencies