Islamabad, August 23, 2016 (PPI-OT):Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs in its meeting formed a sub-committee to discuss further and finalize the Representation of the people (Amendment) Bill, 2016 moved in Senate by Senator Sherry Rehman. The committee will be headed by Senator Farooq H. Naek and will have Senators Saleem Zia and Saifullah Magsi as members.
The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Senator Saeed Ghani here at the Parliament House on Tuesday. It may be noted that the amendment suggested by Senator Sherry Rehman pertains to putting an end to barring women from voting in elections.
Senator Aitzaz Ahsan said that the amendment should be shaped in a manner that if female turnout is less than 10% of the total turnout and there is a solid evidence of any formal, informal, written or verbal agreement barring women from casting votes, then ECP should be given power to declare the elections in that specific constituency as void.
Senator Farooq H. Naek observed in the committee that the intention of law is that women should not be restrained from voting. He said that putting a percentage limit of 10 or 15 % turnout as a minimum of the total votes casted is not an answer. However, he also suggested careful drafting of the amendment bill so that the law is not challenged or striked down tomorrow.
Senator Javed Abbasi said that it should be studied whether any other country in the world has provided for any such law which asks for compulsory voting because this amendment will make it compulsory to vote while vote is a right by will.
Legal expert Salman Akram Raja was also present in the meeting as a special invittee and observed that it is progressive legislation but it also needs to be seen that whether this can be made applicable in all parts or only in the areas where women are restrained from voting. He suggested having a general procedure and providing a clause for extraordinary situations.
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H.No.7, Cat-II, G-8/2,