ECP to consult political parties, stakeholders

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has expressed satisfaction with reports from three commissions on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and Out-of-Country Voting.

It has decided to secure the completion of an RFP/Tender process for the procurement of EVM for a pilot project. New legislation has been proposed regarding EVMs and e-voting for Pakistanis abroad as expenditure on EVMs is estimated at Rs 258 billion involving various stages of procurement.

At a meeting on Thursday, three commissions formed on electronic voting machines and out-of-country voting submitted their reports to the electoral commission. The ECP secretary gave a briefing on a roadmap and an action plan at all stages of the project.

The meeting said that this process should be completed with quality, secrecy and security in mind. In this regard, the ECP has also decided to initiate a process of consultations with all stakeholders and political parties to gain their confidence. Pilot tests of more machines will also be carried out. Regarding out-of-country voting, the committee submitted four proposals to the EC requiring new legislation. These proposals were; Internet voting, postal voting, online voting in embassies and electronic postal voting. Another proposal was for a separate electoral college and reserved seats for overseas Pakistanis. The ECP was informed that it would cost 258 billion rupees.

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