Opposition parties do not support electoral reforms to maintain their political and social status quo: Dr Awan

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APP39-100921 ISLAMABAD: September 10 – Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Federal Minister of Railways Muhammad Azam Khan Swati and Advisor to the Prime Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Dr Babar Awan, address a press conference at the PID Media Center. APP photo by Saleem Rana

ISLAMABAD, Sep 10 (APP): Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan Friday said the opposition parties were not supporting electoral reforms to maintain their political and social status quo.

Addressing a press flanked by Minister of Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain and Minister of Railways Azam Khan Swati, he said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistani People’s Party were also against the voting rights of overseas Pakistanis. But, he said the government of the day was committed to giving the overseas diaspora the right to vote.

He said at today’s meeting of the Standing Senate Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, the chairman of the committee refused to grant virtual voting rights to a committee member from Balochistan.

He said the government had seven votes, but one was refused by the chairman of the committee. He said on Monday that a joint parliamentary session would be called to kick off the Pakistani government’s Tehreek-e-Insaf fourth parliamentary year.

He also informed that the electoral reform bill would be tabled during the session of the National Assembly to be held on Wednesday.

He said it was the first time in history that the government was refused to present its position in committee because it wanted to respond to objections raised over the use of EVMs in the upcoming general election.

He said he could only respond to five of the 37 objections. He added that this was also the first time the regulator has stepped down from the meeting.

He said the electoral reform bill was presented to the National Assembly last year in October. However, he was adopted after eight months, he added.

Dr Awan said the opposition had not even made a single suggestion on electoral reforms, electronic voting machines (EVMs) or internet voting.

He later said that the bill was sent to committee for a decision in two months, but it took three months and produced no productive results.

He said that the whole world system is based on technology and how could we stop the induction of modern inventions such as EVMs to hold free, fair and transparent elections in the country. Sooner or later, this method should be adopted for the transparency of the electoral process, he argued.

He said there were nearly three Supreme Court orders and the government would soon complete this legislation in light of the following orders.

He said the opposition was seeking a national reconciliation order but would never succeed in obtaining it.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister of Railways Azam Khan Swati said Prime Minister Imran Khan was not only thinking of the 2023 elections, but that he wanted to bring electoral reforms to the country to avoid electoral controversies. in the future.

He said last year in October, the government proposed 49 electoral amendments.

He said that for the past two years there has been a weekly meeting regarding EVMs at the President’s house and the Pakistan Election Commission (ECP) also attended the meetings as it was the main stakeholder in the whole system.

He said it seemed the ECP was following the opposition’s agenda. He expressed hope that transparent elections would be held using advanced technology in 2023.


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