Islamabad - As the government gears up to engage the opposition in Parliament for discussion on electoral reforms including use of e-voting machines (EVM) in next general elections, so does the criticism against EVMs grows. Background discussions with experts suggest that proposed EVMs were being developed in haste and without proper debate in the Parliament about benefits of the technology. Some of them even raised their concerns about cost and efficacy of these machines to ensure operational transparency.
On the other hand the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has also geared up efforts to seek a detailed briefing from the Ministry of Science and Technology about operational methodology to ensure Overseas Pakistanis are linked through EVMs in casting their votes in the future elections. The Committee headed by the Secretary ECP is working hard to finalize its recommendations in the light of presentation to be given by the Ministry of Science and Technology May 31. Earlier this month, President Arif had promulgated the Elections (Second Amendment) Ordinance 2021 under Article 89 of the Constitution only two days after National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser constituted a panel of the cabinet members to engage the opposition on the issue of electoral reforms. PPP termed the parliamentary committee on electoral reforms toothless and said that it had no mandate and power. However, the PTI government maintained that it wanted reforms in the electoral system with the introduction of latest technology to bring transparency and credibility to the election process.