ELECTION COMMISSION OF PAKISTAN
ECP TO CONVENE CONSULTATIVE MEETING WITH POLITICAL PARTIES ON ARRANGEMENTS FOR GENERAL ELECTIONS
Islamabad, the 19th September 2012.- The Election Commission of Pakistan will convene a high-level consultative meeting with leaders of all major political parties of the country on 27th September 2012 to discuss the arrangements made for forthcoming General Elections and other relevant factors requiring attention by all concerned as well as code of conduct for Political Parties & Candidates. The meeting will be chaired by the Hon’ble CEC, Justice (Retd) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim and Mr. Justice (Retd) Muhammad Roshan Essani, Hon’ble Member Sindh; Justice (Retd) Riaz Kayani, Hon’ble Member Punjab; Justice (Retd) Shazad Akbar Khan, Hon’ble Member KPK and Justice (Retd) Fazal-ur-Rehman, Hon’ble Member Balochistan.
2- The letter addressed to the Presidents, Chairmen and General Secretaries of fifteen political parties by Secretary, ECP, Mr. Ishtiak Ahmad Khan on behalf of the ECP refers to the Constitutional obligations of the ECP, responsibilities of political parties, and the elements who are creating doubts about the elections.
3- The letter begins with a reference to the preamble of the Constitution which emphasizes that the State shall exercise its powers through the chosen representatives of the people while, on the other hand, the Constitution entrusts the ECP with the responsibility to organize and conduct the elections 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, thereby enabling the voters to elect their representatives to voice their demands and aspirations in the Parliament, Provincial Assemblies and through local government institutions at the grass roots level. As the Commission is finalizing arrangements for elections, it also considers it essential to consult the political parties which are the most important stakeholder for the Commission as far as elections are concerned.
4- The letter draws attention of the political leadership to the critical times in these words: “You are well aware that the country is passing through a crucial phase of its history and, therefore, a great responsibility has fallen on our shoulders to ensure that fair and credible elections are held in a peaceful atmosphere so that smooth transition of power could take place. We all have to understand the truths and realities that the march of history is unfolding before our eyes, the various forces at play, the demands of our times and then rise above all other considerations to join hands to ensure fair, credible and peaceful elections at all costs to serve the best national interests which take precedence over everything else. In this regard while the Election Commission will take all possible steps, use all State resources through the Provincial Governments and the Federal Government under Article 220 of the Constitution, equal responsibility has to be shared by the political parties as well to play their role which the nation expects of them. And, in this context, it is also pertinent to mention that “History does have its own momentum…..But when leaders who do have a clear vision of the future…..they will change the course of history”. “
5- Touching upon the doubts being created about the elections, the letter states: “There are some elements that are creating doubts about the elections, security of the country and are spreading despondency and confusion in the minds of our people who are looking toward us all as to how we would respond to such quarters. It is but evident that such elements have to be proven wrong at all costs because the other option is unthinkable. So let's get together to reassure them that, Insha' Allah, we will cope with all challenges and steering the country safely through the General Elections toward peaceful transition of power and a new beginning to solve our myriad problems. Hence, it is need of the times to get together to send a strong message of hope and reassurance to the nation.”
6- The following issues will be specifically discussed in the meeting:
i- An overview of arrangements for forthcoming General Elections,
ii- Local Government Elections: Steps taken by ECP since 2012 and current status of issues requiring resolution by Provincial Governments before holding the elections,
iii- Law and Order: security measures needed to be adopted to ensure fair and peaceful election at all cost,
iv- Code of conduct for Political Parties,
v- Implementation of Supreme Court’s directions given in Watan Workers Party Case.
7- The letter has been addressed to the Presidents/Chairmen/General Secretaries of all the political parties.
List of Parties invited