The National Assembly has passed the Election Amendment Bill 2022, that revokes the voting rights of overseas Pakistanis and aims at removal of electronic voting machines (EVMs).
The bill was presented by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Murtaza Javed Abbasi, who also appealed for the bill to bypass the standing committee and instead be sent straight to Senate, which was approved.
The bill will most likely reach the senate tomorrow.
The Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar recalled that the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had also made a series of amendments to the Election Act 2017, which the then-opposition had protested against then too.
Even the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was opposed to the PTI’s introduction of EVMs, saying that the potential of misuse and tampering was very high.
Opposition Leader of the National Assembly Raja Riaz said that electronic voting wouldn’t be possible everywhere in the country, as not every place had internet access.
However, Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) leader Ghous Bakhsh Mehr argued that EVMs were being used all over the world and that Pakistan could at least consider using them in some parts of the country.
Jamaat-i-Islami’s Maulana Abdul Akbar Chitrali said that the opinion of the ECP as well as of political parties should be examined, saying that the ECP should be summoned to give their opinion on the bill.