Senate Passes 22nd Constitutional Amendment
Proposed Bill: Constitution (Twenty-second Amendment) Bill, 2016
Mover: Zahid Hamid, Minister for Law and Justice
Status of discussion in Senate: Passed as the Constitution (Twenty-second Amendment) Act, 2016
Summary: The objective of the amendment is to change the eligibility criteria for the Election Commission of Pakistan. The Bill has already passed through the National Assembly by the two third majority and will now be sent to the President for final assent. Law Minister Zahid Hamid said that 11 Senators and 23 MNAs in the Electoral Reforms Committee had all expressed their consensus on the amendment. The constitutional amendment provides that a retired judge of Supreme Court, a retired civil servant or technocrat of not more than 68 years of age, can be appointed as the Chief Election Commissioner.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that all political parties must accept this amendment as it has been passed through 34 members of the Electoral Reforms Committee and not just imposed on the Senate by the National Assembly. The Bill further added that if the Prime Minister and the Opposition disagree on the composition of the Committee, then both will send their lists to Parliament for consideration.
Article 213(2B) of the Constitution says: “The Parliamentary Committee to be constituted by the Speaker shall comprise of 50 percent members from the Treasury benches and 50 percent from the Opposition parties, based on their strength in the in Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), to be nominated by the respective parliamentary leaders.”
Summary by Sania Shahid