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Friday December 03, 2021

Ministers urge PM Imran Khan to review ECP policy: sources

Ministers at federal cabinet meeting urge govt to move forward with consultations

November 23, 2021

ISLAMABAD: Ministers in the PTI-led government have urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to adopt a more consultative approach towards the  Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) rather than confronting it, sources told Geo News Tuesday.

Sources privy to the matter said the ministers at a meeting of the federal cabinet chaired by PM Imran Khan requested him to review the government's strategy to deal with the ECP on the issue regarding the use of EVMs.

They advised that the government should move forward in consultations with the ECP rather than confronting it.

"There is an impression that the government is against the ECP," the ministers reportedly said during the meeting.

According to sources, the ministers said that the PTI-led government deserves credit for approving the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for the next general elections and granting the right to vote to overseas Pakistanis.

ECP's 'strange reasons'

Last week, the premier had wondered why the election commission had opposed the EVMs, as it was their job to conduct free, fair, and transparent elections in the country.

"They provided strange reasons: What if there is no electricity in Balochistan, what if this happens, what if that happens," the premier had said, quoting ECP officials.

"Do they know what happens in the [traditional mode] of elections? Ballot papers are double stamped; the results arrive after 24 hours," he had said.

The only solution (for instant results) are EVMs, he had said.

The prime minister had stated reforms are always met by opposition as they go against the "corrupt elements' vested interest".

The government is responsible for bringing electoral reforms, he said, reminding everyone that PTI had staged a 126-day sit-in in 2014 to push for reforms.

"We wanted to bring reforms so that the next elections would be fair," he had maintained.