49 changes being made in Election Act 2017: Babar Awan

ISLAMABAD – Adviser to the PM for Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan on Monday said that the government plans to make 49 changes in Election Act 2017 to ensure transparency and fairness in the election process.

Babar Awan, while addressing a press conference along with Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry, said that Prime Minister wants such an election process that no one could cast doubts on the transparency of polls in the country; however, that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is not ready for electoral reforms.

He added that the reforms agenda will be put forth before the stakeholders including the civil society, the media and bar councils and associations for their inputs.

Under the reforms package, the Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs said section 103 is being amended to allow the use of electronic voting machines to check rigging in the elections and section 94 will be amended to give the right of franchise to the overseas Pakistanis.

Babar Awan said it is also being proposed that the electoral rolls be prepared on the basis of registration data available with the NADRA. He said we also want the delimitation of constituencies on the basis of registered voters.

On the other hand, Fawad Chaudhry said that the government wants to get the reforms agenda passed from the parliament through consensus. He said if the opposition parties are not ready for the reforms, it will impede the process of political and democratic development.

The Information Minister said it is the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan that the political parties sit together to carry out the electoral reforms. He said the reforms will enhance the confidence of the people, political parties and intelligentsia on the election process.

He defended the use of electronic voting machines in the election saying it will ensure early results.