ISLAMABAD: Experts at a roundtable dialogue showed dissatisfaction at the proposed Elections Bill 2017. The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should submit records of sources of party’s funds to the National Assembly speaker for debate, said former ECP secretary Kanwar Dilshad and National Democratic Foundation (NDF) chairman while addressing the roundtable dialogue of experts group at a hotel. The dialogue, chaired by Haroon Khawaja and co-chaired by Sohail Kisat and moderated by Kanwar Javed Iqbal, was organised by the NDF in collaboration with Pakistan Freedom Movement (PFM). The experts showed dissatisfaction on the proposed Elections Bill 2017 and urged to revisit it in the light of recommendations laid down in a joint declaration. Earlier, Dilshad highlighted that the Elections Bill 2017 is a diluted version of all existing legislations for the electoral system in Pakistan thus jeopardising the existing legal arrangements at large. All proposals received in response to Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms (PCER’s) invitations should be shared in the form of an analytical matrix summary annexed with the proposed Elections Bill 2017 and should be publicised before the forthcoming steps in parliament. He urged to legally bind the Supreme Court’s decision on any appeal within a period of 30 days, by introducing an amended version of Section 67 of Representation of the People Act 1976 in the Elections Bill 2017. For the purpose, Sub-section (3) of Section 67, after the words “Supreme Court”, the words “to be decided within thirty (30) days” should be inserted, and also after the words “day to day basis” the words “and no adjournment shall be given to any party for more than two days and that too on payment of costs” should be inserted. He also added that the processes at the level of election tribunals should also be strengthened and safeguarded with legal provisions for no interference by any court in its proceedings. Dilshad emphasised that the ECP should be given “Observer Role” in the intra-party elections under Political Parties Order 2002 Articles 11 and 12 (i.e. Elections within Party, per proposed Elections Bill 2017). He praised the introduction of the biometric system. PFM Chairman Haroon Khawaja highlighted that delimitations should be marked at the earliest and polling stations and presiding officers should be finalised 12 months prior to elections, with voter lists be available at the ward level. He added that the voter must be empowered by giving an option on ballot paper to exercise his/her vote as ‘none of the above’ vote, if anyone desires. He further suggested that the ECP should be empowered to introduce an accreditation system for the certification of service oriented organizations (including registered NGOs) to train presiding officers. General (r) Khalid Naeem, Dr Shoaib Suddle and Sarwar Bari also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the needs for electoral reforms for the upcoming general elections. The dialogue was also attended by representatives from civil society organisations, academia and, politicians.