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Fed govt announces 49 amendments in Elections Act 2017, seeks opp’s support

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan on Monday said that the federal government plans to bring 49 amendments to the Election Act 2017 in a bid to reform the electoral process in the country, ARY NEWS reported.

Flanked alongside Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry in a presser, Babar Awan said that there was nothing in the amendments that were in favour or against any political party.

Shedding light on the changes in the Election Act 2017, he said they would amend section 103 to introduce the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs), overseas Pakistanis would get voting rights after changes in section 94 besides also introducing compilation of electoral rolls on the basis of NADRA record, and delimitations as per the registered voters in a constituency.

He said that two reforms for democracy within the political parties would be introduced. “A new section 213 will be introduced, making it compulsory for a political party to hold an annual convention,” he said.

He said that under the reforms, the appointment of polling staff could be challenged 15 days within the electoral process. “We are also bringing amendments to hold Senate elections through open ballot,” Babar Awan said.

Speaking before him, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry once again reiterated the government’s offer to the position parties to sit for electoral reforms saying that those opposing electronic voting machines (EVMs) have never witnessed their working.

Read More: PM Khan reinforces pledge for electoral reforms ‘at all costs’

The information minister said that they wanted to bring EVMs so that the results are not delayed for 12 or more hours. “We want the results to be received 20 minutes after the election process,” he said.

Fawad Chaudhry said that even the prime minister himself has asked the opposition to sit for electoral reforms after the latter objected as to why they were not invited for the talks directly by Imran Khan.

Come and sit for electoral reforms, he said adding that they have invited them for reforms and now it would emerge as to who is against it. “Lack of electoral reforms would halt the process of political and democratic progress in the country,” he said.



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