ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Senator Shibli Faraz said on Monday that the local government (LG) elections in Islamabad would be conducted through electronic voting machines (EVMs) as agreed by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) will provide specific number of EVMs to the ECP by next week for testing purpose so that it could train its staff and convey its observations, the minister said at a press conference.
“The legislation regarding EVMs has been completed and now we have entered into the phase of implementation. The question of either EVMs will be used in the elections or not is now meaningless,” Shibli Faraz said.
The minister stated that the ECP has conveyed to the MoST its requirements, including the number of EVMs required for the local government elections in Islamabad.
The ministry has written a letter to the ECP mentioning the breakdown of machines which would be delivered to the commission, he added.
The local government elections in Islamabad are likely to be held in April this year as per the law.
The minister said that it was the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to conduct undisputed, accurate and transparent elections in the country and the EVM technology would fulfil all these requirements.
Referring to the LG elections held in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa last month, Mr Faraz said that 234,000 votes were rejected and this number was higher than that of votes of a winning candidate while the election results were also delayed. The use of EVMs could have ensured zero wastage of votes and accuracy of results, he claimed.
For ensuring the accuracy of election results, it is necessary to count each and every vote and prevent rejection of votes, the minister said, adding that through EVMs, the results are obtained soon after the polling process ends.
Referring to a report spread through a section of media, Mr Faraz said now conducting election through EVMs is going to become a reality. The ECP and the science and technology ministry, which represents the government side, are enjoying complete working relationship and heading towards the stage of implementation of EVMs successfully, he added.
Published in Dawn, January 11th, 2022