Ijaz Kakakhel Islamabad
Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday said that the Punjab government has prepared an amendment in the local bodies bill to conduct it through electronic voting machines.
While sharing matters discussed during the PTI core committee meeting headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Fawad Chaudhry said that they are ready to hold elections through EVMs and will even pursue coalition parties to support the bill.
“The new amendment will pave way for the local bodies’ elections in Punjab province,” he said adding that the government would extend any cooperation needed to hold elections through the voting machines.
The minister further rejected the impression that EVM would prove costly and said that it would rather make the election process cheaper as the machine would be purchased for a single time and would be used in multiple elections.
He further said that the government would provide funds for the EVM and elections to the Election Commission of Pakistan.
He further announced that the government is keen to launch sehat card program in Sindh and Balochistan provinces, however, the latter was not supporting the move.
Getting health facilities of Rs1 million is the right of every citizen of the country, however, the Sindh government is playing a role of spoiler in this regard, he said.
He lamented that the opposition was not ready to sit with the government on electoral reforms as they wanted to retain the incumbent system to safeguard their rigging practices.
“We have asked the opposition to propose their suggestions on electoral reforms and if they are aimed at strengthening the system then we will surely implement them,” he said.
He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa local bodies election will be held on December 19 while a new structure for village council will be introduced for Punjab.
The minister further said that local bodies act of Punjab will also be approved in coming days, paving the way for elections in the province.
Meanwhile Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Thursday appreciated the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) decision to form a technical committee on electronic voting machines (EVMs) and expatriates’ vote.
In a tweet, he said that the decisions of parliament precede all institutions. The minister said that the role of the chairman and members of the ECP in elections is very important.
He assured that the government would cooperate with the ECP in all these matters.