ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Senator Raza Rabbani on Wednesday criticised the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for its refusal to provide names of those involved in the delimitation of constituencies, saying it is against the constitution to withhold information from parliament.
Rabbani stated that it is ‘unacceptable’ that ECP is not providing names of those involved in delimitation and that certain officials are refusing to attend the parliamentary committee on delimitation.
“There is a detailed ruling of the chairman Senate, issued in the year 2017, that no information can be withheld from parliament or its committees which are an extension of parliament,” stated a press release issued by Rabbani.
He further stated that the ruling in the National Bank issue sets a precedent that “if an organisation claims any such privilege, then it is for the presiding officer to determine the manner in which such information is to be shared with parliament, its committees or its members keeping in view any reasonable apprehension expressed by such department”.
On March 20, Rabbani emphasised that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) does not have the capacity to interfere in parliament’s proceedings.
Earlier, both the government and opposition had over the initial delimitation that the ECP had issued on March 5. The commission had issued the initial delimitation of national and provincial assemblies on the basis of a population census that was conducted in the latter part of the previous year.
“There is no question of transgressing into the domain of the Election Commission of Pakistan,” stated the former Senate chairman. “But the ECP must have read the terms of reference.”
“I believe that all institutions working in the country should remain within their constitutional limits and not meddle with one another’s constitutional jurisdiction,” he added.