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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Ready for talks with opposition on electoral reforms: Ministers

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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati, Monday, said the PTI-led government would make the election commission an independent institution, as he mentioned that several matters regarding the CEC’s appointment were still kept secretive. He has said that the chief election commissioner’s (CEC) appointment should remain secret on Monday. Speaking to the journalists along with Adviser to Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan, the minister avoided revealing the CEC appointment process. “We had to take a bitter sip and did not want to bring matters up,” he said.
Azam Swati raised question over the notice issue to him by the ECP and asked that how many notices were issued to PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. “I know that you are the ‘watch of the big Mian’ and the ‘stick of the small Mian’, he said while labeling allegations against the CEC. The
railways minister further maintained that he would not spare any sacrifice for the rights of overseas Pakistanis.
“We will make the ECP an independent body. The loser is the one who accepts defeat. The CEC is appointed in consultation with the prime minister and the opposition,” he said. Azam Swati said government is committed to bring a system to hold uncontroversial and fair
elections in 2023. He said government law regarding use of Electronic Voting Machines will be passed from parliament very soon.
On the occasion, Babar Awan has said a joint parliamentary committee will be formed to bring consensus on electoral reforms. He said a motion will be moved in National Assembly
authorizing the Speaker and the Chairman Senate to form the Committee.
The adviser said opposition parties should tell the nation as to why they are scared of EVMs. Speaking during the press conference, Awan said the government was moving forward in its electoral reforms, including the introduction of electronic voting machines
(EVMs) and i-voting. The advisor stated that perception is being built that PTI will try to rig the elections through EVMs in 2023, however, he said, the idea was of using the machines was first presented during PPP’s tenure.
“The electoral reforms are being made controversial,” he said, adding that the government was ready to extend an olive branch to the Opposition to work on the reforms together.
Awan said the Opposition wants the electoral reforms bill to be presented in a committee comprising of members from both houses Senate and National Assembly. “The government is ready to do it

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