Published Sep 05, 2018 10:40pm

Marriyum raises 'technical concerns' over ECP-devised i-voting system for overseas Pakistanis

Fahad Chaudhry | Javed Hussain

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb on Wednesday put forth concerns that the i-voting system launched by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to enable overseas Pakistanis to cast their vote in the October 14 by-elections "is technologically faulty".

Aurangzeb, while supporting the voting rights of all Pakistanis abroad, said that the experts found the "ECP-devised system to be weak and unreliable".

The PML-N spokesperson said that all the parties have reservations over the fact that technical experts have expressed concerns that the software can be hacked and has a number of technical faults.

The former information minister acknowledged that Pakistanis residing abroad are an important asset for the nation.

"We fully support their participation in the democratic process and their right to vote. However, we have reservations over the ECP's haste and the system they have developed which is fraught with technical faults."

In her statement to the media, she said that in light of the decision taken in the multi-party conference, just as it is vital for overseas Pakistanis to be granted their democratic right to vote, it is a constitutional and legal necessity to safeguard the sanctity of the vote.

"It will not be possible to hold transparent elections in the presence of such grave reservations. Implementation of such a faulty system without taking all the parties into confidence will be a violation of our rights," Marriyum Aurangzeb asserted.

The ECP will be holding by-elections in 37 constituencies for both national and the provincial assemblies’ seats on October 14.

Overseas voters are registering themselves on the ECP’s website from Sept 1 to 15 in the constituencies their vote is registered in.

See how to register here: ECP launches i-voting website for overseas Pakistanis

ECP to stick with use of RTS software

The ECP has declared that it will stick with its use of the Results Transmission System (RTS) for the upcoming by-elections as well as all constituencies where re-elections will take place.

In a notification issued to all the Returning Officers, the use of the system has been declared mandatory by the ECP.

"The Nadra staff will install the RTS software in the mobile phones of the Presiding Officers and Assistant Presiding Officers in [the] office of the concerned Returning Officer before the poll day," read the statement issued by the commission.

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