Talking to the media after attending a ceremony to mark the World Accreditation Day, Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz said that the development of prototype Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) would be completed in a month’s time following ECP’s standards. This is especially necessary as till now elections in the country had been damaged by one controversy or another, he added.
The government has decided to introduce the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) so that free and fair elections can be held devoid of any controversies, said the Minister. This technology would also allow a common, middle class man to participate in the elections.
Faraz criticized the opposition by saying that they were rejecting the EVM technology so that the rigging system could prevail and they could benefit from it. The minister informed the media that the government wanted all the elections including the press club polls to be held in a transparent manner.
The minister also clarified that every feature of EVM will be approved by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Responding to a question, he said that the decision of using EVM in elections of Azad Jammu and Kashmir will be taken by the ECP.
Last month, the government had promulgated a presidential ordinance authorising and binding the ECP to procure EVMs. It is aimed at enabling the overseas Pakistanis to exercise their right to vote while staying in their country of residence in the next general elections.
However, The Election Commission of Pakistan last month shared on its official Twitter account a vlog of a journalist criticising e-voting machines (EVMs) only to remove it a couple of hours later. ECP Director Altaf Ahmed Khan said that the incident occurred because of an “error’’.
In May, the PM Khan had invited the opposition to sit with the government and work on bringing electoral reforms such as use of EVM so that transparency can be ensured during elections.
‘’ Unfortunately, no substantive reforms were put in place. Technology & use of Electronic Voting Machines are the only answer to reclaim credibility of elections. I invite the Opposition to sit with us & select from EVM models we have available to restore our elections credibility’’, he had tweeted.