EVM needs to be embraced as transparency tool for strengthening democracy: Amin

Author: APP

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam on Friday said Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) needed to be embraced as a transparency tool for strengthening democracy by all stakeholders.

The EVM was a permanent technological solution for curbing the menace of electoral rigging and maneuvering in the elections, he said while addressing a news conference. Amin insisted that there was a need to establish credibility and acknowledgment of fair elections that could be ensured through the EVM which was a cutting-edge technology-based solution. While arguing the concerns of various political parties on the EVM, the SAPM opined that in the recent Cantonment Board Elections held in Attock-I which was lying in his constituency went through political interference and machination in the polls.

“Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Mehdi Naqvi has been declared victorious in the polls of Attock-I and after two hours the Returning Officer in the consolidated result declared him a losing candidate by four votes,” the SAPM quoted a recent example of political intrigue tainting the free and fair elections. He said there were three different election results announced since the Cantt Board polls were conducted in Attock. The joint candidate of the Opposition parties tried to present a sham stay order which was rejected by the Returning Officer, he added.

“4,000 votes have been recounted and the PTI candidate has been announced the winner by 20 votes around 3 a.m. in the morning,” Amin told. While hinting towards the conventional political intrigues in the elections, he said this was the major ill of the system and a hurdle in the way of a strong democracy based on transparent elections. Amin urged that the institutions expressing resistance to the EVM should come up with logical concerns and work jointly to overcome those issues and support the electronic polling solution.

SAPM underlined that there were 50 constituencies of the National Assembly that determine the new government’s structure and were won by a set maneuvering of 5 percent votes. “We need to build consensus on EVM as a remedy to rigging and political scheming as it is the future of strengthened democracy,” he said. As Prime Minister Imran Khan introduced neutral umpires in cricket that helped to promote fair sports, the EVM was also part of his vision to ensure credible elections based on consensus, the SAPM added.

Amin was of the view that EVM would establish transparency and authenticity of any election, where the institutions would get convinced as it was a technological-based solution. The complete denial of the technological solution by the Election Commission of Pakistan was ignorance sans reason-based argument, he added. He said the controversy created by the political parties gaining power through rigging needed to be discarded for a consensus of all schools of thought on the EVM.

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