European Union Electoral Experts Mission calls on Zahid Hamid

Islamabad, February 08, 2016 (PPI-OT): EU (European Union) Electoral Experts Mission called on Federal Minister for Climate Change and Human Rights, Zahid Hamid here on Monday. The Mission was led by Michael Gahler, former Chief Observer of the EU Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) and included three electoral experts.

Federal Minister Zahid Hamid welcomed EU Electoral Experts Mission. Electoral Reforms process in Pakistan was discussed during the meeting. Zahid Hamid, who is also Chairperson of the Sub-Committee of Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms, apprised in detail about the working of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms, and Sub-Committee on Electoral Reforms.

He told the Mission that the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms has representation from all political parties. Federal Minister said that the Sub-Committee on Electoral Reforms has held 49 meetings so far and reviewed all laws pertaining to elections. He said we have agreed on 10 constitutional amendments, adding that Committee has not touched controversial issues. We have put five progress reports to main committee, he said.

Zahid Hamid noted that all the political parties are on board which is plus point, saying that we have addressed almost all the proposals received from general society at large. Sub-Committee has considered proposals one by one. Federal Minister Zahid Hamid hoped that draft regarding new electoral laws will be completed by two to three weeks.

He said that Election Commission did a great job regarding the voters verification, adding that we are soon ordering tender for electronic voting machines. He said that electronic voting machines will be purchased by September and electronic voting machines will be used on experimental basis in any by-election after September.

The visiting EU Electoral Experts Mission offered thanks to the Federal Minister Zahid Hamid for impressive description about electoral reforms process. The meeting also agreed that there should be a proper training academy for imparting training to polling staff prior to elections. The meeting was also attended by EU Ambassador Jean Francois Cautain and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Human Rights Zafarullah Khan.

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