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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples' Party has condemned the unilateral change in the composition of the Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs to tilt the balance in favour of the government just on the eve of voting on a controversial legislative proposal of introducing electronic voting machines.

"The Pakistan People's Party will not permit such brazen attempts to institutionalize polls rigging through a new back door and will resist it at every forum", said Farhatullah Babar secretary general of the Pakistan Peoples' Party Parliamentarians in a statement today.

Through a notification issued by the Senate Secretariat on Friday September 3 a new member from the PTI was inducted into its Committee on Parliamentary Affairs unilaterally and without consultation either with leader of the opposition or with the Chairman of the Committee, he said adding "it was aimed at paving way for bulldozing the controversial bill".

He said that according to the original composition the 13-member Committee included 6 members each from the opposition and government with the provision of casting vote available to its Chairman PPP's senator Taj Haider under the rules. To tilt the balance against the opposition the Chairman Senate first unilaterally threw out PPP's Mustafa Khokhar from it without assigning any reason and without having any authority to do so, he said

When it was vehemently challenged and Senator Mustafa Khokhar membership had to be restored the Senate secretariat issued a notification inducting an additional member from PTI Samina Mumtaz in it.

Farhatullah Babar said that sometime back the Senate secretariat did not allow the Committee's chairman to invite FAFEN for briefing on EVMs. All these moves clearly show the desperation of the government to rig elections, he said.

He said that the PPP has made its position very clear. A far too simple technological innovation like Result Transmission System (RTS) in the 2018 elections was hijacked and even balloting for plots failed to arouse credibility. With such experience there is no question of trusting EVM technology in elections without consensus of political parties, Election Commission and all stakeholders after thorough debate, testing and experience in other countries, he said.

He said the PPP will resist the latest move to manipulate bulldozing of the bill in the Committee through such underhand tactics.-PR

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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