ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Senator Shibli Faraz has said that only Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is authorised to select and procure electronic voting machines (EVMs), ARY News reported on Thursday.
Shibli Faraz, while talking to journalists today, said that ECP should issue tender and procure EVMs. He clarified that the ministry has also floated an idea of EVMs but it was not the manufacturer.
He elaborated that the ministry has proved that an EVM could be manufactured locally in accordance with the local requirements.
“We have requested the chief election commissioner (CEC) to start procurement of EVMs. ECP should procure the EVM of its own choice, whereas, the ministry has also offered 500-metre space to ECP for its storage. Our work is coordinating with the election commission.”
Earlier in the month, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja in a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan demanded a place for the EVM and i-voting project.
The CEC in his letter to PM had written that the election commission taking steps for the use of technology in the electoral process.
The CEC had suggested four different buildings in his letter to house the project management unit.
“The guest rooms of Pakistan Academy of Sciences and PCSI can be used for the management unit,” the letter read. “A vacant floor of the Ministry of Science and Technology and the building of Sir Syed Memorial Society can also be provided for the project,” the CEC further suggested.
“The work for recruitment of the I.T. professionals has been in its final stage. The I.T. teams will work for the use of technology in the electoral process for the EVMs and i-voting,” according to the letter.
The federal government had decided to provide electronic voting machines (EVMs) to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold local bodies elections in Islamabad in April.
The federal ministry for Science and Technology will provide 3,900 EVMs to the election commission during the period from January to April.
The ECP had sought 3,900 EVMs from the ministry of which 3,100 would be used at 800 polling stations for the local bodies elections of Mayor Islamabad while 800 machines would be used for backup.