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President Arif Alvi said on Sunday once again returned the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022 without signing it, saying the bill was “anti-progress and regressive.”

In a statement issued from the official Twitter handle of the President of Pakistan, President Alvi said that he had returned the bill to the parliament, which met recently and passed it again.

"This bill is anti-progress and regressive. Governments [in future] will be facing two choices, whether to allow the past to drag Pakistan down or allow lessons from the past and techs of today to boost us into a bright progressive and dynamic future of Pakistan that has been our dream."

The President said that many such decisions will continue to challenge us and history shows that those who make the right decisions, “and those who don’t, squander opportunities that obstruct their path to glory.”

In a letter addressed to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and shared on Twitter, President Alvi said that he has an affiliation with the issues of electronic voting machines and overseas voting, and has followed these issues in governments, the Parliament, and the Supreme Court.

He expressed his disappointment that the bill would still be enacted into law despite him not signing it.

“As President, it is painful for me personally over not to sign on it,” President commented.

“I want to register my arguments and views for the coming generations. The nature of proposed laws is conservative,” he said.

President creating obstacles in country’s affairs: Khaqan

It is to be mentioned here that the president had earlier returned the National Accountability (Amendment) Bill and Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022 to the Prime Minister while observing that Article 46 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan had been violated as he was not informed about the legislative proposal before bringing the bill to the parliament

Earlier, the National Assembly had passed bills to abolish the PTI government’s election reforms giving overseas Pakistanis the right to vote through i-Voting and electronic voting machines (EVMs), as well as the NAB laws.

After the president’s refusal to sign the bills, the joint session of the Parliament had passed the National Accountability (Second Amendment) Bill 2021 and Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022.

After the joint sitting’s approval, the bills were sent once again to the President for approval.

The bills passed from the joint sitting of the Parliament could turn into law within 10 days despite not being signed by the President.

It will be considered that his assent has been given under Article 75(2) of the Constitution.

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