ISLAMABAD: In major changes in the election rules, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Monday amended the candidates’ affidavit with a view to seeking more details of assets and dual nationality, besides making it mandatory for a polling agent of a contesting candidate to be a voter of the area.
The ECP issued two notifications. In one notification, the ECP changed the affidavit for election candidates. Now, a candidate would file a new affidavit along with the nomination papers, showing complete details of the dependents and the assets in their names.
Details of past performance as a member of assembly have also been sought in the affidavit. On the issue of the dual citizenship, a section has been added under which the candidate will be required to provide information regarding relinquishing the other nationality.
The candidate will also be required to inform about the nature of other citizenship – whether by birth or acquired. It will be necessary for the candidate to provide documentary evidence of relinquishing the dual citizenship. Foreign passport number must be stated in the affidavit.
Apart from this, all the details of how much money is given to the political party must also be mentioned in the affidavit. The rest of the contents of the affidavit – which will come into effect immediately – have been retained from the affidavit during the 2018 election.
The ECP issued another notification about the change in the Rule 58 of the Election Act 2017, using its powers under Section 239 of the Elections Act, 2017 (Act No. XXXIII of 2017). The notification said that the polling agent must be a voter of the respective constituency.
“The Election Commission is pleased to make following amendments in the Election Rules, 2017, namely – In the Election Rules, 2017 – (a) In Rule 58, the following proviso shall be inserted namely; ‘Provided that the polling agent or agents so appointed under section 77 shall be the voter of the constituency’,” it said.
The ECP said that objections and suggestions in respect of any amendment could be filed in the ECP Secretariat in Islamabad by December 24, 2022, adding that the objections and suggestions would be decided by ECP through a hearing.