Govt welcomes discussion with Opposition on electoral reforms: Fawad Chaudhry

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ISLAMABAD: The PTI-led government on Tuesday welcomed the Opposition’s readiness to discuss electoral reforms with the Centre, days after a committee from both houses was formed to address the matter. Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry, addressing a post-cabinet press conference in Islamabad, said the committee should move in the right direction to resolve the matter and not waste time. The information minister said the electronic voting machine (EVM) and i-voting were a crucial part of the reforms. “If we exclude overseas Pakistanis from the voting process […] it will be an injustice with them.” Chaudhry said Prime Minister Imran Khan, during the cabinet meeting, directed Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan, Advisor to PM on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan, and others who oversee parliamentary matters that these two elements — EVMs and i-voting — be discussed as a necessity with the Opposition. The information minister said a majority of the conflicts arise as the vote count comes in and that the government had shared a study of the Philippines with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), where 300 officials had died during conflicts when the final count came in. “This happened when the Philippines did not use EVMs.” The federal minister said the government had imported 20 machines and hoped that they could be used in upcoming elections. “No sitting government in Pakistan has ever focused on electoral reforms.
, it is the PTI-led government that aims to introduce them,” the minister said, highlighting that the incumbent regime had also run campaigns in this regard.

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