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ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim has welcomed the electoral reforms agenda agreed to between the Pakistani government and cleric Muhammad Tahirul Qadri, and on Thursday assured that the commission would work out an effective plan to stop fake degree holders and others from contesting the polls.
“We have to do massive cleansing,” Fakhru Bhai said while adding that the commission was already working on a mechanism to make the scrutiny effective and meaningful in checking the credentials and standing of the contesting candidates in line with constitutional parameters.
He disclosed that he had already sought details about 55 fake degree holders who had made their way into legislative assemblies. He said that details on tax evaders and defaulters on utility bills would also be sought.
Fakhru Bhai said that the proposal for a month-long scrutiny period for nomination papers was welcome and would help the commission minutely examine the aspirants before clearing them to contest the next parliamentary and provincial elections.
He disclosed that the nomination papers were being revised as per the new demands and challenges.
The accord signed between Qadri and the government on Thursday night agreed to dissolve the National Assembly before March 16, 2013 so that elections may take place within 90 days, and the Election Commission of Pakistan could be given one month for scrutiny of nomination papers for the purpose of pre-clearance of candidates under articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.
The Constitution bars a person from contesting polls if he or she has obtained a loan of Rs2m or more from any bank.