Alvi returns elections amend, EVM/Overseas Pakistanis bill

President Alvi has summoned a joint parliament session today

Favours use of Electronic Voting Machines

Zubair Qureshi

President Dr Arif Alvi has returned elections amendment, EVM/Overseas Pakistanis bill without signing.

The president in a statement said that he has been pursuing the issue of Electronic Voting Machines and Overseas Pakistanis Voting with all governments, in the parliament, as well as with the Supreme Court of Pakistan since more than a decade.

The president added that he had not signed the bill despite the fact, that the constitution that he upholds, would make it into law.

He referred Article 75 (2) of constitution of Pakistan which states that: “When the President has returned a Bill to the Majlis-e Shoora (Parliament), it shall be reconsidered by the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) in joint sitting and, if it is again passed, with or ithout amendment, by the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), by the votes of the majority of the members of both Houses present and voting, it shall be deemed for the purposes of the Constitution to have been passed by both Houses and shall be presented to the President, and the President shall give his assent within ten days, failing which such assent shall be deemed to have been given.”

While expressing himself the President said that It has been very painful to him ersonally as President of Pakistan, to not sign a bill passed by Majlis Shoora. Therefore he must record his reasons for posterity.

While enlisting the reasons, the President said that besides the proposed laws’ regressive nature that he pointed out in detail when he referred the bill back to arliament, he strongly believes that technology today, specially with EVMs when used judiciously contains many solutions that reduce the impact of confusion, discord and accusations in our ‘ever-marred’ and challenged election processes.

Technology can also improve transparency, make elections inclusive with the vote of our Overseas Pakistanis, build confidence and reduce polarization to finally achieve our elusive dream of free and fair elections, he added.

More than that, he wants Pakistan to leapfrog into the world of tomorrow, not to solve today’s problems only through the lens and experiences of yesterday but through newer and better scientific approaches that are available, or even ‘birthing’ today.

He does understand that this cannot happen without confidence building measures across the aisles, and broad stakeholder involvement. Why was this not done and why the obvious was not visible to the opinion and decision makers will remain an enigma to him, he added.


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