Federal Minister for Science and Technology Senator Shibli Faraz on Thursday said it is the responsibility of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold the next general elections through the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) – either the locally manufactured or the imported ones.
“The EVM shown to the ECP by his ministry was just a model or an idea and now, it is its prerogative to select the most viable machine," he said during a news conference.
The minister said opposition parties were repeatedly requested to check the EVM and give their feedback to make it more viable.
“We have tried our best to include the opposition in this process as they are also the stakeholders but they criticised the EVM without even knowing and checking it,” he said.
The opposition was interested in the old election process to continue with all possibilities of rigging and electoral fraud through which they won the elections in the past.
He again asked the opposition parties to give their suggestions to the ECP regarding EVM for improvement, if they want to make the electoral process of this country transparent and non-controversial.
He said the ECP could respond to the reservations of opposition parties regarding the EVM.
The minister said that the EVM offers solutions to all such issues which make the election controversial.
The processes involved from the start of the polling process to compilation of results will be executed in a short time through this technology.
Read Premature to say if EVMs can be used in next polls: ECP
Since the legislation has passed on Nov 17, he said, it is the responsibility of the ECP to select the most viable EVM for conducting elections.
The EVM can be locally manufactured or imported as per the ECP decision, he said, adding that the government, as well as the Ministry of Science and Technology, is ready to extend every kind of facilitation in this regard.
“Ensuring rigging-free and non-controversial elections in the country is a national cause for which we are ready to support the ECP,” he said.
Shibli hoped that the ECP would fulfil its responsibility and enhance its capacity as the whole electoral system would witness a transitional phase.
The ministry has given demonstrations on the EVM in the provincial assemblies as well as parliament and taken all stakeholders into confidence.
Despite the fact that Prime Minister Imran Khan invited the opposition parties on the floor of the house to play their role in this process, they adopted the policy of criticism.
"Our government has fulfilled the promise of giving the right to vote to nine million overseas Pakistanis," he said.
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