Abbasi for amendmend to apply Article 6 on ‘stealing of polls’ EVMs can be tampered to change election results: Ahsan

Staff Reporter

Former prime minister and PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Thursday suggested that a constitutional amendment be made to apply Article 6 of the Constitution, which deals with treason, on anyone found “stealing the elections”.

The PML-N leader made these remarks referring to a controversial bill on electoral reforms passed during the joint sitting of parliament a day ago, which paved way for the use of electronic voting machines in the next elections. The legislation was strongly rejected by the opposition, which alleged that the government was trying to rig the elections through the use of electronic machines. Talking to the media in Karachi today, Abbasi said “elections are [often] stolen here and the only way to ensure free and fair elections in Pakistan is to bring a constitutional amendment.” He accused the government of attempting to bring the Election Commission of Pakistan under its control through the passage of the EVM bill. He said the electronic voting machines have failed worldwide, while in Pakistan the government was adamant to waste public money on such experiments.
“The electoral process in Pakistan is not controversial, but the mechanism to hold polls is.

But, we are now even making election process tainted,” he added. Meanwhile, Taking exception to the “hasty passage” of the electronic voting machines bill in the joint parliamentary joint session a day ago, PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday warned that EVMs could be tampered with to manipulate election results.

“Polling results can be doctored through changing a chip in EVMs and that is the reason most countries have discarded these machines,” said Iqbal, while talking to media in Islamabad.

Iqbal’s remarks come a day after the parliament’s joint session approved 33 bills including the contentious Elections (Second Amendment) Bill, 2021, which paved the way for the use of EVMs in the next general elections.

The legislation drew strong criticism from the opposition, which claimed that the government was introducing electronic machines to doctor poll results for its own mileage.

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