Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja said on Wednesday that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has always supported the implementation of technology in elections and never opposed use of electronic voting machines (EVMs).
In a press conference, he stated that “ECP is being criticised regarding EVMs and overseas voting process.”
“We are not against the use of technology in the polling process but we want all stakeholders to have a consensus on this matter. Moreover, there should be proper procedures in place to handle voting through EVMs.”
Speaking about previous local bodies and by-elections, Sultan said that polls were strictly monitored and action was taken against violators.
“An excellent mechanism was put into place and people will see massive improvement in monitoring in the general elections 2023,” he said.
Talking about local government elections in Punjab that will take place in the last week of April, he said: “We are conducting de-limitations again and the provincial government has been asked to ensure polls are held by the stipulated time.”
He also blamed the government of Punjab for delay in local bodies polls due to repeated changes in laws. “We need at least three to four months for delimitations.”
The use of EVMs has been a controversial issue. The former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government advocated their use, with former PM Imran Khan terming it the “only solution to rigging and other problems of elections in the country.”
The country also passed a bill related to EVMs but the current Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) led government rescinded the bill.