ISLAMABAD – Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam said that the howling cries of the opposition parties over incumbent government’s introduction and use of electronic voting machine (EVM) during upcoming general elections is unfathomable and unfounded.
Addressing a press conference here on Friday, the PM’s aide told the media that free and fair elections are cornerstone of the real democracy, which is an outcome of people’s ability to elect genuine public representatives.
He said that the EVM it is being introduced with an aim of promoting genuinely fair, free and transparent elections in the country.
He further said, “EVM is inevitable to be accepted as key tool for transparency in elections at any level and vital for strengthening democracy by all stakeholders.”
He described EVM as a lasting and reliable technological solution for addressing the threat of possible electoral rigging and maneuvering in the elections as witnessed in past.
The PM’s aide Malik Amin emphasised, however, that there was a pressing need to set up credibility and acknowledgment of fair elections that could be ensured through the EVM – a cutting-edge technology-based remedy to possible rigging in any sort of elections.
While dismantling the uncalled-for worries of political parties on use of EVM in upcoming general election as a part of the present government’s efforts to promote free and fair elections, Malik Amin Aslam remarked 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 had 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 said referring to a recent instance of political intrigue, tarnishing the free and fair elections.
He said there were three different election results declared since the Cantt Board polls recently held in Attock.
The joint candidate of the Opposition parties jostled to present a sham stay order, which was thrown away by the Returning Officer, he added.
“As many as 4,000 votes had been recounted and the PTI candidate has been declared winner by 20 votes by 3am in the morning,” Amin recalled.
Hinting at the conventional political intrigues in the elections, he said this was the major menace of the system and a roadblock to the strong democracy that is based on transparent elections.
Amin requested that the institutions expressing opposition to EVM to come up with logical concerns and work hand in hand to resolve those issues and back the electronic polling solution.
“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 technological solution by the Election Commission of Pakistan was ignorance sans reason based argument, he added.
“However, 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,” he regretted.