Election Act amended Caretaker govt gets more powers

ISLAMABAD (Agencies): A joint session of parliament on Wednesday approved amendments to Election Act 2017, granting additional powers to the caretaker government to take important decisions on the economy and engage with international institutions.
The bill titled “Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2023” was tabled in the joint session by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Murtaza Javed Abbasi which was approved with a majority vote. The sub clauses 1 and 2 of Section 230 of the election act related to the functioning of caretaker government have been amended.
Under the amendments, the interim setup will not have the authority to sign any new agreement and make decisions on bilateral and multilateral agreements. The caretaker government will be able to exercise powers on matters related to the ongoing projects, according to the amendments.
Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar told the joint session that the parliamentary committee on electoral reforms again held a meeting today and examined, specifically, Section 230 of the Election Act vis-à-vis the caretaker government. He said the objective of empowering caretaker setup is to ensure that the ongoing commitments with multilateral and bilateral do not face hiatus as it negatively affects the economy.
The bill empowers the caretaker government to take actions or decisions regarding existing bilateral or multilateral agreements or the projects already initiated under the Public Private Partnership Authority Act, 2017, the inter-governmental commercial transactions Act 2022 and the Privatisation Commission Ordinance 2000.
The maw minister said that no new powers are being given to the caretaker government saying amendments in section 230 are aimed to ensure that the decisions already taken by the federal cabinet do not face any hurdles. The bill also envisages measures aimed at ensuring the timely compilation and announcement of election results. The joint session of parliament has been adjourned to meet again on the 7th of the next month at 11:30am.