NA okays Election Act amendment that seeks to scrap electronic voting
- Elections Amendment Bill 2022 also intends to restrain expats from voting
The National Assembly of Pakistan approved on Thursday the Elections Amendment Bill 2022, which seeks to scrap electronic voting in elections and restrain overseas Pakistanis from participating in elections, reported Aaj News.
Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Javed Abbasi presented the bill in the assembly and Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar said that the bill was of immense significance.
He said the Pakistan Tehreeek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had made several amendments to the Election Act, 2017, including those that allowed the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and granted overseas Pakistanis the right to vote in general elections.
“The National Accountability (Second Amendment) Bill, 2022 will be approved today,” he said. “A parliamentary committee has been formed owing to the need for several reforms. The committee has representation of all political parties.”
In November 2021, a joint session of the Parliament passed the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and the Elections (Second Amendment) Bill, 2021 regarding use of EVMs.
Joint session of Parliament passes bill on use of EVMs
The then adviser to the prime minister on parliamentary affairs Babar Awan presented the bill to amend the elections act, 2017 [the elections (amendment) bill, 2021]. The motion to table the electoral reforms bill passed with 221 votes in favour while 203 lawmakers voted against it.
Parliament allows use of EVMs and voting rights for overseas Pakistanis, opposition says will knock SC’s door
According to the amendment, which was incorporated in clause 2 of the Elections Second Amendment Bill, 2021, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act or Rules made thereunder, the Commission shall, with the technical assistance of National Database Registration Authority (NADRA), any other authority or agency, enable overseas Pakistanis, in prescribed manner, subject to secrecy and security, exercise their right to vote during general elections in Pakistan.
According to another amendment in clause 3 of the bill, not withstanding anything contained in this Act or rules made thereunder, the commission shall, with the technical assistance of any authority or agency, procure and use in prescribed manner, subject to secrecy and security, stand-alone Electronic Voting machine (EVMs) in general elections in Pakistan.