Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday approved a number of election reforms under which all political parties will be liable to reserve a quota of five percent for female candidates in elections.

The prime minister was chairing a cabinet meeting, which had a 33 point agenda. He also approved repatriation policy for Afghan refugees.

PM Nawaz Sharif also said that the previous governments did not pay attention to hospitals and health related facilities in the country.

He said that people were facing acute problems due to shortage of quality hospitals, adding, “We are taking initiatives in the crucially important health and education sectors. It is our commitment with the people of Pakistan to provide quality health facilities free of cost to the deserving”.

After the meeting, Federal Information Minster Maryam Aurangzeb and Law Minister Zahid Hamid briefed the media about latest development during a press conference.

Zahid Hamid said that the government has decided to enhance facilities for voters and candidates, adding that surveillance cameras will be installed at sensitive polling stations.

“If a candidate’s margin of victory is less than 5 percent, he or she will have the right to demand a recount but for once,” he said.

Hamid added, a large number of parties have been put on the list of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), despite them having less supporters. “A minimum strength of supporters will be set for each party in order to get register with ECP.”

For voters, it has been decided that at least 10 percent of the votes from a constituency should be from women, he said, adding that election in the constituency will be declared void by ECP if women were restrained from voting.