The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday unveiled its plan for next general elections in 2018 promising to introduce biometric voting machines, but rubbished the rigging allegations in last year’s polls. ECP Secretary Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan during a news conference held here at the commission’s office said foreign observers and independent election monitoring bodies had expressed satisfaction with election process in country held in May 2013. “Let me make it very clear that anybody who has doubt about rigging in elections, should wait for the Election Tribunals to come up with final judgments,” the secretary told newsmen in apparently pointing to Imran Khan, Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) chief, who has been lambasting the election results.
The ECP’s secretary said that Sindh government also wanted use of biometric machines in the upcoming local government (LG) elections which might delay the electoral exercise on the lowest tier beyond 2014. He indicated that local government polls in KP will possibly take place in November this year.
Elaborating its second five-year strategic plan, the official said the ECP had decided to introduce electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the next general elections due in 2018, reminding that it was the demand of all the political parties.
He said the features of the machine which will have in-built biometric verification system that had already been finalised and necessary orders for production of prototype machines for pilot projects had been issued. He however said the introduction of EVMs for general elections would require legislation by the parliament.
Full Article: Electronic voting in next general polls.