Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said on Thursday that the next local government (LG) elections in Punjab will take place via electronic voting machines (EVMs).
“The government will offer its complete support to elections, which take place via EVMs,” he said while talking to reporters in Islamabad.
The minister also said that elections via EVMs will not be expensive. "The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will not have to purchase electronic devices every time there is a new election," he said.
Earlier today, Fawad welcomed the ECP's initiative to constitute technical committees for the use of EVM and voting facility for overseas Pakistanis.
On Tuesday, the information minister had warned that funds will only be released if the next general election takes place via EVMs, stressing that the parliament had made the law and the election commission and other institutions should follow it.
Responding to a question if the government was pressurising and blackmailing the ECP over the issue of funds, the minister said: "Parliament is not a blackmailer, as it has made the law that should be implemented."
Earlier, Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Shibli Faraz said that it was the responsibility of the ECP to hold the next general elections through EVM, which is vital for ensuring transparent, free, fair, and credible elections in the country.
“The EVM shown to the ECP by his ministry was just a model or an idea. Now, it is the prerogative of the ECP to select EVM either the locally-manufactured or imported one,” said the minister.
“We have tried our best to include the opposition in this process as they are also the stakeholders but they criticized the EVM even without knowing and checking it,” he said.