ECP declares NA-75 by-polls null and void

Not sure about use of EVMs in next polls: ECP

ISLAMABAD: The Elec­tion Commission of Pakistan (ECP) appe­ared to be unsure about using electronic voting machines (EVMs) in next general elections.

The issue came under discussion at a meeting of the National Assembly’s Stan­ding Committee on Law and Justice and the ECP secretary briefed the panel on the machine.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha pointed out serious flaws in the bill on EVM which was adopted during the joint session of parliament on Wednesday.

Mr Ranjha said the bill introduced electronic voting without omitting the proviso of manual voting which meant that at present the Elections Act allowed both electronic and manual voting in elections.

He said the proposed EVM lacked biometric verification facility and it would rely on manual verification. As a result, “someone can cast vote on the computerised national identity card of a dead man”, he added.

On the other hand, Science and Technology Minister Shibli Faraz while addressing a press conference emphasised the significance of EVMs in ensuring a free and fair election.

“Electoral process in the past was compromised and as a result political instability and uncertainty was created. To address such problems, using technology is the way forward. However, political parties today are resisting change to deprive the nation of a transparent electoral process,” he said.

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