Election Commission of Pakistan
|Formed||March 23, 1956|
|Headquarters||Sector G5/2, Constitution Avenue, Islamabad|
The Election Commission of Pakistan (Urdu: الیکشن کمیشن پاکستان), is an independent, autonomous, permanent and constitutionally established federal body responsible for organizing and conducting of elections to state parliament, provincial legislatures, local governments, elections to the office of President of Pakistan, delimitation of constituencies and preparation of Electoral Rolls. As per the principles enlightened by the Constitution of Pakistan, the Commission makes such arrangements as are necessary to ensure that the election is conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law, and that corrupt practices are guarded against The Election Commission was formed on 23 March 1956 and has been restructured and reformed in various occasions of history of the country.
Under the Article 213 & 216, the Chief Election Commissioner and four retired judges of the High Courts from respective four province of the country, who are appointed by the President in the manner provided in the clauses (2A) and (2B) of Article 213 of constitution. As of present, Justice (R) Sardar Muhammad Raza is the current Chief Election Commissioner. Election Commission of Pakistan has a 5-member panel, out of which 4 members are from each of the four provinces (Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) headed by a Chief Election Commissioner. 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. The newly passed Elections Act 2017 from National Assembly dated 2nd October, 2017 has now been enacted and General Elections 2018 was performed under this Act successfully.
ECPs bureaucracy is headed by Federal Secretary ECP (BS-22)officer who manages the ECP Secretariat
Functions and Duties
The functions and duties of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) are defined and set by the Constitution of Pakistan in Article 219. In the light of which, the Commission is charged with the following duties
- To prepare electoral rolls for elections to the National and Provincial Assemblies and revising such rolls annually. [Article 219 (a)];
- To organize and conduct election to the Senate and fill casual vacancies in a House or a Provincial Assembly [Article 219(b)];
- To organize and conduct election to the Local Government institutions [Article 140(A)];
- To appoint Election Tribunals. [Article 219 (c)];
- To decide cases of disqualification of members of Parliament and Provincial Assemblies under [Article 63(2)]; and [Article 63(A)]; of the Constitution on receipt of reference from the Chairman or the Speaker or Head of the political party, as the case may be;
- To hold and conduct election to the office of the President as per Second Schedule to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan [Article 41 (3)];
- To hold Referendum as and when ordered by the President. [Article 48 (6)];
|“||For the purpose of each national general election to the State Parliament (National Assembly) and to a Provincial legislatures (Sindh, Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Balochistan), an Election Commission shall be constituted in accordance with the Article 239G. It shall be the duty of the Election Commission constituted in relation to an election to organize and conduct the election and to make such arrangements as are necessary to ensure that the election is conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law, and that corrupt practices are guarded against.||”|
|— Article 218–219: Election Commissions; Part-VIII, Chapter:1 Chief Election Commissioner, source: The Constitution of Pakistan|
Autonomy and Independence
The Commission has retains its independence, full financial autonomy and functions independently of all government control. 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 Election Commission itself. 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.
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. 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. The effect of which is to defranchise a candidate, candidate can press into service Constitutional jurisdiction of the High Court. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has since then consistently followed this judgment.
Transaction of business
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 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 (Financials)
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.
- Administrators. "1956 Constitution". Story of Pakistan. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
- Const Pakistan. "PART VIII (contd) Elections Chapter 2. Electoral Laws and Conduct of Elections". Constitution of Pakistan, Chapter II. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
- CEC. "Message from the Chief Election Commissioner". Chief Election Commission Secretariat. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
- "Chapter 1: Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissions". Constitution of Pakistan. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- Shaheen, Sikander (December 1, 2011). "ECP seeks full autonomy". The Nation. The Nation. Archived from the original on 26 January 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- Dawn.COM (14 September 2012). "President Zardari gives green signal for election preparation". Dawn News. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
- "ELection Commiccion of Pakistan". ELection Commiccion of Pakistan. ELection Commiccion of Pakistan. Retrieved 3 January 2013.[permanent dead link]
- "CEC-ESG discuss Electoral Reforms Recommendations". Islamabad: The Associated Press of Pakistan. 12 October 2009. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2009.
- Computerised electoral rolls system installed Archived September 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine Daily Times (Pakistan), September 10, 2008. Accessed July 23, 2009.