Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said that his government plans to introduce an electronic voting system in Pakistan to ensure free-and-fair election in Pakistan.
During the briefing, the prime minister discussed electoral reforms and touched upon issues such as election results and the roles of presiding and returning officers.
PM Imran Khan also spoke about the legislative and constitutional requirements for electoral reforms. He has given the Election Reforms Committee until January 31 2021, to finalise recommendations.
The prime minister will also talk about Sunday’s Gilgit Baltistan polls.
Imran Khan’s three proposals
The premier has previously talked about three electoral reforms – electronic voting, biometric verification, and electing senators through a show of hands instead of secret ballots.
The issue of electronic voting and biometric verification has attracted comprehensive discussions among public circles and deliberations by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). But these suggestions were universally discarded for different reasons.
Political parties have been opposed to the e-voting and biometric system, fearing that these modes are subject to easy manipulation as was the case with the notorious RTS (result transmission/management system), which, put in place in the 2018 general elections, created a mess because of its utter collapse when it should have functioned. It made the entire electoral exercise controversial and questionable, giving rise to a political storm.
Also, an ECP committee concluded a few years back that the cost of the electronic voting machines (EVMs) is very prohibitive, almost double, compared to the paper balloting.
His proposal for Senate elections may garner the support of opposition parties keeping in view the result of the no-confidence motion against Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani in August last year.