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ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission (ECP) has raised as many as 22 observations on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and i-voting mechanism, well- informed sources told Business Recorder.

Reporting the weekly progress on the introduction of Electronic Voting Machines, the Minister for science &Technology, Senator Shibli Faraz, briefed the cabinet that Election Commission of Pakistan had written a letter raising 22 observations on the EVMs and i-voting.

The Minister assured the Cabinet that response to the queries would be sent after consultation with Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs, Babar Awan.

The sources said the ECP maintained that EVMs’ software, quality and security and manufacturing are substandard.

Opposition to be invited to examine EVMs, says Shibli

The Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs noted that National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) had shared design details of i-voting with the ECP. He further suggested that practical demonstration of EVM in elections would exhibit its efficacy and help counter the broadside against the use of technology. In this regard, conducting the Supreme Court Bar Association’s elections through EVMs was suggested.

The Prime Minister observed that the resistance to EVMs and i- voting was mainly emanating from political parties, who were deeply entrenched in the old system and had been exploiting it to their advantage.

Reiterating his commitment to free and fair elections, he exhorted that the process of introducing the EVMs and enfranchising the overseas Pakistanis must be completed well before the next general elections, irrespective of hindrances by vested interests.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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