ISLAMABAD: In a significant development, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has implemented a crucial directive aimed at enhancing transparency and procedural adherence in electoral matters. The directive, among other provisions, imposes a ban on Returning Officers (ROs) from engaging the services of private lawyers. Instead, the ECP mandates that ROs seek assistance exclusively from ECP law officers when facing legal matters or appearing before tribunals.
This move by the ECP reflects a commitment to streamline the legal processes surrounding electoral decisions and disputes. By restricting ROs from hiring private legal representation, the ECP aims to ensure a standardized and impartial approach to legal matters related to elections. The decision emphasizes the need for uniformity and adherence to established legal protocols, thereby fostering confidence in the electoral system.
Furthermore, the ECP has explicitly directed all ROs to appear before tribunals concerning their decisions. This directive underscores the ECP’s dedication to accountability and the fair examination of electoral proceedings. By requiring the direct involvement of ROs in tribunal hearings, the ECP aims to enhance the clarity and legitimacy of decisions made during the electoral process.
In parallel with these measures, the ECP has instructed provincial election commissioners to verify the presence of ROs in the tribunals. This additional layer of oversight ensures that ROs are actively participating in the legal proceedings related to their decisions. The involvement of provincial election commissioners adds an extra dimension of accountability to the entire process, reinforcing the ECP’s commitment to upholding democratic principles.
The Election Commission of Pakistan’s recent directives represent a concerted effort to strengthen the electoral framework by promoting transparency, standardization, and accountability. The prohibition on ROs hiring private lawyers, coupled with the insistence on their direct appearance before tribunals, marks a pivotal step towards ensuring the integrity of the electoral process in Pakistan.