Introducing electronic voting is ECP’s domain: Khaqan

ISLAMABAD – Former prime minister and senior PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Tuesday said that introducing a voting system is the domain of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), and not the government’s.

He was talking to media outside an accountability court in Islamabad where he appeared in an LNG corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The government has unveiled a plan to introduce election reforms, and it has invited the opposition on Monday for talks in this regard.   Former premier while responding to the government’s move said that introduction of the electronic voting system in the country is the jurisdiction of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and not of the government.

Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) would create lots of problems. He derided the government team supporting the launch of the EVM system terming them circus players who did not have the authority to perform this task. “The country does not need electoral reforms,” Abbasi said, adding that it’s not the government’s or Parliament’s job to initiate the EVM system.

The former premier again demanded the installation of cameras in courts so that people could watch what NAB was doing in the court. He said in reality government was doing accountability of people. He said the prices of electricity had been increased about 200pc, but the government instead of controlling the prices only changing its ministers repeatedly.

He recalled that Prime Minister Imran Khan had promised to monitor the prices of daily commodities in Ramazan himself. “But the fact is that the prices of eatables have risen up to 15pc in the month of April.” He also said that flour prices had doubled as well.   Shahid Khaqan Abbasi asked the premier to stop monitoring the prices because “whatever commodity, the PM monitors, its price goes up”.   

The PML-N leader said that premier had not taken any action to bring sugar prices down. He said electricity prices went up 200% in three years of PTI tenure.

He lamented nobody was responsible for skyrocketing power tariff, adding that circular debt had touch such heights which was becoming unbearable.

On 249 by-polls recounting process,  the PML-N leader said his party wanted army supervision because it believed that police had become party to the crime of vote rigging that’s why army’s involvement would lend credibility to the process.  He was of the view that Shehbaz Sharif neither formed Pakistan Democratic Movement nor broke it.

Earlier, in accountability court, the recording of the witnesses against Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and others remained continued. The court directed both the witnesses Allah Nawaz and Abdul Rasheed Jokhio to appear on next date of hearing and adjourned the proceedings till 18th May.


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