Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that the upcoming general elections in 2018 will be held according to the new electoral reforms. Speaking after a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms in Islamabad on Tuesday, the federal minister said that contentious points will be further deliberated in the sub-committee on electoral reforms meeting to be held tomorrow (May 17th). He hoped that the sub-committee headed by Law Minister Zahid Hamid on draft Elections Bill, 2017 will submit its report before the next budget.
Articles about voting issues in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
The scandal of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) system hounding the recent Indian elections is a timely forewarning for the Election Commission of Pakistan to desist from a complete switchover from the existing paper ballot system to the desired EVM. Official sources in the ECP told The News that although the commission was already not in favour of complete switchover, the reports coming from India have furthered their concerns. In their internal meetings, there is a consensus within the ECP that Pakistan should initially restrict itself to pilot projects under the EVM system. While different political parties, particularly the PTI, demand that the entire 2018 elections should be held under the EVM system, voices coming out of India make the system doubtful. Indian media reports showed that EVM had raised many questions during a mandatory mock poll in Jorhat when every time a button was pressed, the vote went in favour of BJP.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has signed an agreement to procure electronic voting machines (EVMs) and biometric verification machines (BVMs) for a trial run in by-elections. ECP Secretary Babar Yaqub Fateh Muhammad said that once these EVMs and BVMs machines are delivered by vendors in 10 weeks, they will be used in multiple pilot projects in upcoming by-elections to see their results. Director General (Admin) retired Brig Abbas Ali and Chief Executive Officer of M/s Smartmatic International Holding signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations to procure 150 EVMs.
Pakistan: Voting machine: ‘Conventional’ ballot papers likely to be used in 2018 polls | The Express Tribune
In a sign that it has virtually abandoned the proposal of using electronic voting machines, the Election Commission of Pakistan has begun preparations for ballot paper procurement well ahead of the 2018 general election. On Monday, the poll supervisory body convened a meeting of all stakeholders to review arrangements for printing ballot papers. Following the 2013 general elections, the ECP had proposed the use of EVMs in the next general elections. However, the proposal is still at a nascent stage and unlikely to be enforced by 2018 due to technical and legal hitches.
Pakistan: UN expert advises Pakistan should not move to electronic voting system before 2023 | The Express Tribune
A leading United Nations expert on electoral technology has advised Pakistan’s top polls supervisory body against completely moving to an electronic voting system before 2023. Ronan McDermott was speaking on ‘Use of Technology in Elections’ — with particular focus on electronic voting machines (EVMs) and biometrics — jointly organised by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the United Nations Development Programme. Members of the parliamentary committee on electoral reforms attended the session, during which the UN expert presented a global view of the merits and demerits of the main electoral technologies, and shared comparative experience on their adoption.
Pakistan: Election Commission told to buy electronic voting machines by September | The Express Tribune
After months of wrangling, a parliamentary panel on electoral reforms on Wednesday directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to procure electronic voting machines (EVMs) by September 2016 for experimental use with a view for formal deployment, despite strong reservations from the top electoral body. “ECP will procure EVMs by September this year and use it in any by-polls,” announced Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid, who heads an eight member sub-committee of the parliamentary committee on electoral reforms, in Islamabad on Wednesday. “If the experiment is successful, next general elections will be held through electronic voting.”
In August this year, the Election Commission of Pakistan had announced its intentions to allow overseas expats to vote in the country’s general elections in 2018, as long as they held their citizenship. Keeping with the plan, a mock exercise was conducted to evaluate security, among other things. The Pakistani embassy in Riyadh, the High Commission in London and its consulates in New York, Dubai, Manchester, Bradford and Glasgow carried out the test. Employees at the foreign missions were asked to participate in the exercise, by voting for fictitious candidates, via two means — postal and online ballots.
Election experts, government officials and lawmakers yesterday concluded that giving voting right to overseas Pakistanis was practically impossible though lawmakers of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) stuck to politics of idealism insisting on giving rights to voters abroad. The sub-committee of Electoral Reforms Committee was informed by officials of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that the mock voting exercise in Pakistani missions abroad went unsuccessful and proposed that participation of Pakistanis living abroad in election will be a futile exercise without any success. The meeting was told that it took two weeks to receive the results of votes polled by 67 voters in seven Pakistani missions during the mock exercise. Voters had cast votes through postal ballots and email. Minister for Climate Change Zahid Hamid who is also convener of the committee told reporters that Tuesday’s briefing by ECP and Nadra officials was evidence that the project of giving voting rights to overseas Pakistanis was not feasible at all.
Election authorities in Pakistan today nullified the results of a by-election held in a remote district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province last month that barred women from exercising their right to vote. Masroor Shah, a lawyer representing human rights activists and who challenged the legality of the elections, said that Chief Election Commissioner Justice Sardar Raza Khan has declared the by-elections of Lower Dir null and void and has ordered new elections. “Women from Dir have testified before the three-member inquiry commission that they were not allowed to vote,” Shah said. “The announcements had been made from a mosque’s loud speakers to stop women from participating in the elections.”
In some of the most socially conservative regions of Pakistan this weekend’s local government elections will be men-only affairs. Local politicians and elders say parties contesting elections for district and village council seats in Hangu and parts of Malakand, districts of the north-western province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), have struck deals barring women from voting. There are fears of similar arrangements across KP, a province bordering Afghanistan where many Pashtun communities observe purdah traditions so strict that many female candidates do not publish photographs on election posters.