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Senate unanimously passes Election (Amendment) Bill 2017

ISLAMABAD (APP): The Senate unanimously passed the Election (Amendment) Bill, 2017 on Tuesday, restoring the finality of Prophethood declaration to its original form.

The bill, which was moved by Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid, has already been passed by the National Assembly.

Speaking on the occasion, Hamid thanked other political parties for helping rectify the mistake in the Elections Act, 2017. He said the declaration in the nomination papers had been restored to its original form through the amendment in the act.

He said nobody could even think of changing the provision regarding the finality of the Prophethood.

The bill’s statement of objects and reasons states: ” Subsequent to the enactment of Election Act, 2017, misgivings have been expressed in the National Assembly and also reported in the media regarding the wording of the declarations by the candidate in the nomination form (Form A) attached with the Act.

“To avoid further controversy, there is a consensus amongst the political parties in the National Assembly that the original text of Declaration and Oath by the Person Nominated included in original Form A, should be restored in totality.”

On October 5, the National Assembly unanimously passed amendments to the Election Bill 2017, restoring a Khatm-i-Naboowat (finality of prophethood) declaration required to be signed by public office holders to its original form.

The controversy had arisen when the ruling party had passed amendments to the election law earlier this week, with opposition parties claiming the bill moved by the government had also changed the contents of a form regarding belief in Khatm-i-Naboowat (finality of Prophethood), which is required to be signed by public office holders and election candidates.

The amendments passed were agreed upon by members of parliamentary parties after NA Speaker Ayaz Sadiq had accepted the government had made a ‘clerical error’ and invited them to discuss the matter in his chambers.

During the meeting, the parliamentary leaders agreed to restore the declaration to the original form it was in before the National Assembly passed the Elections Bill 2017 on Tuesday.

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