NA passes Election Act Amend bill, aimed opp protest

Ijaz Kakakhel

The National Assembly on Thursday passed the Election Act Amendment Bill, 2020 containing dozens of amended clauses for bringing electoral reforms including the voting right for overseas Pakistanis.

The Lower House has passed the amended Election Act, 2017 that was presented by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan.

The Election Act Amendment Bill, 2020 contains dozens of amended clauses aiming to bring electoral reforms regarding the voting right for overseas Pakistanis, the open ballot for Senate polls, use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and other sections to ensure transparent and fair elections.

The bill had earlier sailed through the NA Standing Committee on Parliament Affairs chaired by Mujahid Ali, however, the opposition members gave their dissenting notes by calling it legislation in haste.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said overseas community are playing instrumental role in economic development of the country, therefore, their participation in the voting process of the country is inevitable.

He urged the opposition parties to play positive role for the provision of this fundamental right to overseas Pakistanis.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari blamed the federal government for seizing the opposition’s right to carry out debate on the legislation.

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