ELECTION COMMISSION OF PAKISTAN
Islamabad, the 11th March, 2013.- The Election Commission of Pakistan had sent its nomination form (“the proposed Nomination Form”) to the President for approval under section 107 of ROPA on 20.2.2013. Thereafter, the Commission did not get any response until the meeting with the Federal Law Minister on 7.3.2013 during which he said that he had a number of objections to the Proposed Nomination Form. The ECP asked the Law Minister to submit his objections in writing immediately so that the same may be considered by the ECP.
The Law Ministry sent its objections in writing on 8.3.2013. 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 Law Ministry and requested the law Ministry to send the Proposed Nomination Form to the President for approval latest by 11.3.2013.
Today it is 11.3.2013 and as the printing of the nomination forms has to start today, therefore, the Commission cannot wait for the President’s approval any longer.
In these circumstances, the Commission is of the view to print the Proposed Nomination Form without waiting for the approval of the President. 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 Hon’ble Supreme Court of Pakistan has stated in the Worker’s Party that the ECP “is empowered and independent to do all that is necessary to fulfill 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.