PTI gives roadmap for electoral reforms with 49 amendments
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The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government on Monday gave a roadmap for electoral reforms with 49 amendments to the Election Act 2017 and offered the opposition to hold talks, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Adviser to Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan held a joint press conference here in Islamabad and announced the government was ready to introduce amendments related to electronic voting machines (EVMs), compulsory annual conventions of political parties, voting right for overseas Pakistanis and delimitation of electoral constituencies based on the number of registered voters in each constituency.
Fawad Chaudhry said that they had prepared an election reforms package for enhancing the confidence of the people in the electoral process and wanted the response of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) on this.
He urged the opposition parties to sit with the government for reforms. He said despite having the required majority in the Senate and the National Assembly, they still wanted to include opposition into the process.
The minister said that the PML-N leadership especially Shehbaz Sharif, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Ahsan Iqbal did not properly watch the EVMs functions and just refused as these were introducing by the PTI government. He suggested them to see the working of EVMs first and then pass comments.
Fawad Chaudhry said that they wanted to reduce the time of election results from 12 hours to 20 minutes only and that could happen through the EVMs. He said after getting the results on electronic machines, the issue of delay would be resolved.
On this occasion, Babar Awan gave a road map of election reforms. He said they had planned 49 amendments in the Election Act 2017. He assured that there was no one amendment in favour or against anyone. He proposed that they would like to amend Section 103 of the said Act to introduce the usage of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). To amend Section 94, he said that his government wanted to give a right of voting to overseas Pakistanis.
He further informed that they were going to make some amendments related to the compilation of electoral rolls directly link to NADRA and delimitations as per registered voters in a constituency. He said polling staff could also be challenged in the Election Commission within 15 days of the electoral process.