Keeping in view the directives of the judicial commission, formed to probe allegations of rigging in May 2013 Elections, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would set up a monitoring wing comprising 500 members that would keep vigil over all arrangements before and after elections and submit its reports to the concerned authorities, the sources told The Truth Pursuit on Monday.
The Judicial Commission formed to probe into alleged rigging in 2013 elections had lamented the fact that there was no proper monitoring mechanism to keep vigil over arrangements and code of conduct of the election staff members including presiding officers.
In its 237 page report the Judicial Commission stated that “The commission found that the ECP did not seem to have any way of knowing how thigs were progressing on the ground either prior to the election or during the election. There was no monitoring wing in the ECP. There seemed to be no way for the ECP to know whether or not its directions were being implemented.”
The sources said the monitoring wing would look into printing of ballot papers, their distribution among presiding officers, provision of election material at polling stations, security arrangements for voters, code of conduct of the election staff members and use of money by the candidates during the election campaigns.
The sources told The Truth Pursuit that the members of the monitoring wing would be given proper training after which they would be able to train more people that may be hired on temporary basis before general elections.
Sources also said if the monitoring wing would find out any tilt of the election staff members towards a specific candidate then it would bring it to the notice of the relevant authorities. The electoral reforms committee of the parliament also pointed out number of times that there should be a proper monitoring mechanism to ensure the election is carried out in line with the best practices in the world.
An official of ECP outlined framework of drastic reforms to bring improvement in four sectors – Planning, Training, Coordination and Monitoring – in order to ensure transparency in the general elections.
“We are undergoing an administrative reshuffle in which every specific officer will do a specific job. The monitoring wing will coordinate with other arms of ECP including DG (TT), Director (MIS), ADG (Legal), ADG (PR), Director Political Finance, ADG (Gender Affairs) and the Training Wing,” the official said.
He said the judicial commission mentioned absence of the monitoring wing during 2013 general elections so now they would put in place a proper mechanism in this respect to ensure free and fair elections.