Pakistan to have electronic voting system, says PM Imran

Calls on opposition to stand with the government and introduce the Senate electoral reform

Our Correspondent November 17, 2020
Prime Minister Imran Khan. PHOTO: PID/FILE


Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Tuesday that his government intended to introduce electronic voting in the country to make the process of general elections free and fair.

Addressing the nation regarding electoral reforms, the premier said that all parties including the PTI, Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had levelled allegations of the 2013 elections being rigged.


He said the PTI demanded for a year to open four constituencies and then called a sit-in. "The work we did was for the 2018 elections to be transparent," he added.

Referring to his cricketing days, the premier said it was due to his efforts that the concept of neutral umpires was introduced in the sport. He stated that he was making efforts to introduce the kind of electoral reforms that give the losing side no option than to concede.

“There was no rigging in 2018 general elections,” the premier said. “I said on the very first day [of the government] that I was ready to make any sort of investigations into the elections but, it was the PPP and PML-N who did not become part of the investigation committee for which it was made.

"A committee, comprising Azam Swati, Pervez Khattak, Babar Awan and Shafqat Mahmood, was working on electoral reforms,” he said. "It will get two things approved by the parliament, one of which is electronic voting," PM Imran said.

"We are talking to the Election Commission about this and will take data from NADRA for e-voting,” added the premier.

Highlighting other reforms, the prime minister said his administration was also working to introduce a system for overseas Pakistanis to enable them to participate fully in the election process and cast their votes.

As for the third reform, he said the government was also working to make the Senate elections more transparent as to redress complains of "a lot of money being spent on them".

“Because votes can be bought in the secret balloting process... as everyone has acknowledged, there would be a show of hands in front of everyone to put a stop to the corrupt practice,” PM Imran said.

However, the premier added that this reform would require a constitutional amendment that would need a two-third majority to be passed.

"It is now up to the rest of the political parties to decide whether they will support this reform or not to end corruption in this process," he observed.

“We expelled 20 of our provincial assembly members from the party for selling votes in the last Senate election,” PM Imran said.

The PM called on the opposition to facilitate the government in passing this bill. "Although no ruling government introduces such reforms, but we are. Because we want fair and transparent elections,” the premier added

Speaking of the Gilgit Baltistan elections, the prime minister said his administration would fulfil its promise to make Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) a province. He also thanked the people of G-B for trusting the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the elections.


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