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PPP, PML-N say ‘no’ to online voting system

ISLAMABAD: Contrary to earlier calls for introducing online voting system for overseas Pakistanis, some major political parties including the PML-N and the PPP, have opposed such a system arguing that the proposed balloting mechanism be launched in next elections after 2018.

According to National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), the online voting system would benefit 7.9 million overseas Pakistanis in the upcoming general elections.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) also expressed reluctance to decide hastily on the matter, highlighting the need to test the software by conducting mock elections to weed out security concerns.

Reports say that the experts from renowned institutions have also expressed apprehension regarding the system’s security from attacks by hackers.

The ECP is expected to seek input from IT experts to find loopholes in the new system.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, who is heading a three-judge SC bench, observed in a hearing yesterday that the court did not want to pollute the election system that may create doubts in the process.

Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed from the PML-N asked the court not to experiment with the system in the upcoming elections, which would be bitterly contested. He also invited the court’s attention towards concerns expressed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg regarding electronic manipulation in the 2018 general elections.

PPP’s Naveed Qamar said the online voting software should be made ready for the next elections after 2018, which should be held after biometric verification.

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