Prime Minister to Take Opposition Parties in Confidence and Introduce an Electronic Voting System

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that his government plans to introduce a new electronic voting system to ensure transparent and fair elections for Pakistan.

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Keeping the opposition in mind he said that the opposition was part of the process and extended an invitation to the opposition parties towards amending the Constitution. He said according to his plans an electronic voting system would be in place to make the general election fair, free and transparent in future.

The prime minister discussed electoral reforms in Gilgit Baltistan as well.

Expressing his gratitude towards the people of Gilgit Baltistan who braved the weather conditions and came to vote. He also said that his government planned to give GB a provincial status in the near future.

Citing the example of the 2013 and 2018 elections, PM Imran Khan said that it

“In 2013, when all parties said that the polls had been rigged, we were the first ones to go to the courts to demand the audit of at least four constituencies, “ he said. “We also staged ‘dharnas’, after which 133 petitions were signed by different parties against rigging” he added on Tuesday.

He said that the purpose of demanding the audit of the four constituencies was not to win, but to set a precedent that rigging may not take place.

According to the prime minister “keeping in view the upcoming elections in Azad Kashmir as well as the Senate election, the government wants to foster a culture of accepting the electoral results” he said.

Announcing the plans for an electronic voting process he further added, “for the purpose, we will introduce an electronic voting system in the country, just like the rest of the world, to make sure that the process remains transparent”.

“We also want to set up a system for overseas Pakistanis so that they can cast their votes and become part of the democratic decision-making process in the country,” he said.

Revealing his plan for the upcoming Senate elections, the Prime Minister said that instead of secret voting. “We will introduce constitutional amendments to allow “show of hands” in the Senate voting process.

During his discourse with the media, the prime minister said “everyone says that money is exchanged in Senate Election” and recalled that his party had expelled 20 of its own MPAs from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa after it was found that they “sold their votes” in 2018’s polls of the upper house.

“What ‘the proposed amendment’ would do is end the money exchange and corruption in the Senate Electoral Process,” he further explained. “Now it is up to the rest of the parties whether they will support this constitutional amendment because a two-thirds majority is needed which ‘we’ (the government) don’t have.

Stressing on the transparency for the electoral process he said “Once the facts would come forward, the shortcomings could have been overcome so that the next election is transparent,” and added that his party had approached the Parliament, ECP and the Supreme Court so that an investigation could be held. After exhausting all legal options for a year, the party arranged a 126-day long sit-in “so that the electoral process can be fixed”, he said. For this he gave the example of the 2018 elections’ process and its ensuing results.

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