Bill to amend Election Act approved by NA

Election Act

Islamabad: The National Assembly has passed the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2022 on Thursday, which seeks to remove the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVM), as well as disallows overseas Pakistanis from voting.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Murtaza Javed Abbasi presented the bill that was passed with a majority vote.

Before introducing the measure, Abbasi moved that the bill be forwarded directly to the Senate for approval, bypassing the necessary standing committee. The NA also voted in favour of the resolution by a majority vote.

It is expected that the bill will be sent to the Senate tomorrow.

Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar, speaking in the National Assembly on the occasion, refuted claims that the amendment is intended to deny abroad Pakistanis the ability to vote.

He claimed that Pakistanis living abroad are a valuable resource for the country and that the government will not take away their right to vote.

The law minister stated that while they are not opposed to the use of technology, they are concerned about its misuse, citing the failure of the Results Transmission System (RTS) to favour a certain political party in the 2018 elections.

GDA politician Ghous Bakhsh Mehr, on the other hand, argued that electronic voting machines (EVMs) were being utilised over the world and that Pakistan should at least give them a try. “Use them in some parts if not the entire country,” he urged.

Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali of the Jamaat-i-Islami stated his party had rejected the measure during the previous administration. He went on to say that the law should be discussed with the ECP as well as political parties.

“The powers of the ECP are not included in this bill. It would have been preferable if the commission had been given more authority “‘Party heads should be summoned to offer their opinion on the law,’ he urged again.

Read: Next elections to be held through EVMs

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