PTI pledges to get casting a voting machines bill passed


ISLAMABAD: Claiming to possess majority within the parliament, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government has vowed to urge the legislation on the utilization of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and I-voting for the overseas Pakistanis gone by the top of this year without opposition’s support.

In a related development, President Dr Arif Alvi signed another ordinance making it binding upon the elected members to require oath as legislator within sixty days.

“I want to offer excellent news to the state . Insha Allah (God willing) the legislative process which we’ve started regarding the EVMs and therefore the I-voting for the overseas Pakistanis are going to be completed within the year 2021 through the Senate or maybe the joint sitting of the parliament,” declared Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan while speaking at a press conference with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Political Communication Shehbaz Gill here on Wednesday.

Mr Awan said the bill seeking amendments to the Elections Act 2017 regarding the utilization of EVMs and I-voting that had already been gone by the National Assembly was currently being reviewed by the Senate committee on Parliamentary Affairs. As per Constitution, he said, the committee had time till Sept 14 to clear the bill.

President promulgates ordinance to bind parliamentarians to require oath within 60 days of the maiden session of legislature

The Senate parliamentary affairs committee is headed by opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senator Taj Haider who last month announced that he wouldn’t hold the committee’s meeting until the withdrawal of the ‘illegal’ notification by Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, barring the committee from summoning officials of aside from the relevant ministries.

Under the Constitution, if a bill gone by one home is not gone by the opposite house within 90 days, then through a motion, it’s mentioned the joint sitting of the 2 houses of the parliament. Since the PTI and its allies don’t have a transparent majority within the Senate, therefore, the govt is now getting to get the election amendment bill passed from the joint sitting of the parliament because it did within the case of the legislations regarding the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) last year.

Mr Awan said the overall elections in 2023 would be held during a transparent and fair manner and therefore the government would fully cooperate with the committee of Pakistan (ECP) for the aim . He said the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) had sought Rs2.2 billion for providing technical support for I-voting. He said the govt would ensure all available resources for conduct of free and fair elections.

Criticising the opposition for his or her refusal to carry talks with the govt on the EVMs, Mr Awan alleged that the opposition parties were only curious about stopping the accountability process and shutting down the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

The adviser urged the opposition to point out political wisdom and stand with the govt for ensuring transparent elections. He regretted that the ministers and even Prime Minister Imran Khan had invited the opposition several times, but they received no positive response.

Mr Awan alleged that opposition was committing contempt of court by opposing the govt move to grant the proper of vote to the overseas Pakistanis. He recalled that the Supreme Court’s full bench in its verdict had declared that each Pakistani, whether living within the country or abroad, had equal fundamental rights.

The adviser said the opposition was making hue and cry over the introduction of EVMs before its use. He recalled that the opposition had raised slogans within the ECP favour once they won the Daska elections whereas whenever they lost the elections they started targeting the ECP. He also asked the opposition to not make the cantonment boards controversial by crying foul over the upcoming elections on September 12.

Referring to the reservations shown by the opposition about the utilization of EVMs, he said the machines had not been prepared by the govt . He said public would tend demonstrations of this prototype machine through road shows being planned by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Responding to an issue , Mr Awan said the govt didn’t require any constitutional amendment for the utilization of EVMs or I-voting. He, however, said that they might require a constitutional amendment for allowing the twin nationals to contest the overall elections within the country.

Mr Awan disclosed that he had given an appointment to the federal cabinet on August 31 on the Supreme Court verdict during a case associated with general elections held in 2013 after which Nawaz Sharif had become the prime minister. He alleged that the 2013 elections were rigged as 35 per cent “Form 15 in Punjab and mostly throughout Pakistan” were found missing as per the report written by three SC judges. He alleged that a press was hired only days before the elections. quite 92,000 thumb impressions couldn’t be verified, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, SAPM Shehbaz Gill alleged that PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif had been playing a double game on the difficulty of EVMs. The SAPM alleged that Mr Sharif had established behind the scene contact with the govt and had expressed the willingness to support the EVMs, if cases against him and his son, Hamza Shehbaz, were withdrawn.

Mr Gill advised Mr Sharif to resign from the position of party president when the PML-N had rejected his idea regarding the formation of a national government. He said it had been strange that a celebration office-bearer had termed the statement of the party president as his ‘personal’.


President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday signed the Election Ordinance (Third Amendment) 2021, binding the elected members to require oath within 60 days of the commencement of first sitting of the maiden session of a legislature.

The amendment has been made to Section 72 of the Election Act 2017.

According to the state-run Associated Press of Pakistan, under the amendment, the members will need to take oath within 40 days of the promulgation of this ordinance.

“In case of failure to require oath within the mandatory period, seats of elected members to Senate, assembly and native government will become vacant,” it said.

Since no official text of the ordinance is out there it’s believed that the ordinance provides 40 days time to those members who haven’t taken the oath since 2018 after winning the elections.

Former minister of finance Ishaq Dar is that the only lawmaker who has thus far not taken oath as senator after winning the elections in March 2018. Mr Dar is additionally facing NAB references and is presently living in self-exile in London with party’s supreme leader Nawaz Sharif

During the news conference when a reporter asked if the govt had promulgated this ordinance to de-seat Ishaq Dar, the adviser to the PM on parliamentary affairs, said the principles were already there to de-seat any member, if he remained absent from the proceedings with none intimation. He, however, said they weren’t using those rules. He said that they had brought this ordinance in line with the SC verdict within the Javed Hashmi case during which the court had declared that no constituency might be left unrepresented for an indefinite period.

PML-N dissident Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had recently taken oath as member of the Punjab Assembly while PML-N’s Dar had been declared absconder by the court, he remarked.

The president also signed Pakistan Council of Research for Water Resources (Amendment) Ordinance 2021. The amendment was made under Section 16 of the Act 2007, adds APP.

The council would make appointments for the higher performance and discharge of duties of the institute. it had been also given the facility to rent services of advisers and experts on a contract basis.

The president approved a summary regarding the appointment of Mohammad Saeedullah on deputation as judge of the accountability court, Rawalpindi. He also granted his consent on a summary regarding initiation of proceedings against Khawaja Shaukat Hussain, a grade 20 officer in National School of Public Policy, under official (E&D) Rules 2020.

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