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Pakistan

Voting rights for overseas Pakistanis have not been revoked: law minister

  • Azam Nazeer Tarar says government wants to give them representation in Senate and National Assembly
27 May, 2022

Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar clarified on Friday that the voting rights of overseas Pakistanis have not been revoked following the passage of The Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

The National Assembly on Thursday approved the Elections Amendment Bill 2022 and the Senate has also passed the bill. It was reported that the amendment seeks to restrain overseas Pakistanis from participating in elections.

But at a presser, Tarar said: "Overseas Pakistanis are a great asset of Pakistan, their right to vote in Pakistan has not been ended, we want to give them representation in Senate and National Assembly."

The bill also seeks to scrap electronic voting in elections. On this, Tarar said that the matter regarding Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs) had been left to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which had said in front of the Supreme Court that if elections were to be held, this should be done within six to eight months and this is not enough time to figure out the logistics of electronic voting.

"The ECP said it would not be possible to conduct elections through EVM or the internet given the short period of time," Tarar said.

The minister said the ECP had given its views after reviewing the internet connection, electricity problems in several parts of Pakistan, and the training that would need to be given to polling staff.

NA okays Election Act amendment that seeks to scrap electronic voting

He said recent legislation is only aimed at enabling the ECP to devise a strategy to ensure the right to vote for overseas Pakistanis in a transparent manner.

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