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ISLAMABAD: The ruling coalition partners of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) extended their support to Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday in his plan to bring electoral reforms in the country — especially the introduction of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the next general elections.

Following this move, the federal government is mulling to convene a joint session of the Parliament next week in order to get the two bills related to electoral reforms to sail through the Parliament, it is learnt.

The development surfaced at a meeting between the PM and his coalition partners.

A statement from Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) only mentioned the name of the leaders from coalition partners and PTI who attended the meeting, besides adding that overall political and economic situation was discussed in the meeting.

Govt all set to pass 2 key electoral ‘reform’ bills

The PM took the allies into confidence regarding the government’s two key bills on election reforms; Elections (Amendment) Bill 2021 and Elections (Second Amendment) Bill 2021 that have been passed by the National Assembly but rejected by the Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs in September, this year, a PTI lawmaker, requesting not to be named, told Business Recorder.

The development indicates that hostility between the federal government and Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would increase in the coming days.

The ECP has voiced concerns on the government’s electoral reforms agenda, which envisions the introduction of EVMs in 2023 general elections and assigning Nadra (National Database and Registration Authority) the central role in the preparation of voter lists while the ECP is opposing these proposals. The electoral body is also opposed to the delimitation of constituencies on the basis of population instead of voters as envisaged in the electoral reforms.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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