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IHC seeks reply in ordinance allowing voting rights to overseas Pakistanis

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday sought response from the federal government, Election Commission of Pakistan, and law ministry in a plea challenging the presidential ordinance that allows voting rights overseas Pakistanis and the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs).

Justice Amir Farooq of the IHC heard the petition of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA Shahnawaz Ranjha against allowing voting rights to overseas Pakistanis and the use of EVMs through a presidential ordiannce.

The court decided to club all the petitions challenging the presidential ordinances and forwarded the request to the IHC Chief Justice Athar Minhallah to form a divisional bench.

The court has sought response from the federal government, the ECP and the law ministry, while the attorney general of Pakistan (AGP) has been directed to assist the court in the case.

Ranjha in his plea has pleaded with the court to declare the ordinance, allowing voting rights to overseas Pakistanis, null and void, stating that the government has become habitual of issuing presidential ordinances.

Read more: Arif Alvi promulgates ordinance allowing overseas voting rights, EVM use  

On May 8, President Dr Arif Alvi had promulgated the Election (second amendment) ordinance 2021, allowing voting rights to overseas Pakistanis.

According to the ordinance issued by the president, changes were made to section 94 (1) and section 103 of the Election Act 2017.

The amendments would help in ensuring that overseas Pakistanis vote during the next general election.

The federal cabinet on May 04 approved two ordinances regarding the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voting rights for overseas Pakistanis.

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