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Joint session of Parliament passes Electoral Reforms Amendment Bill motion


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ISLAMABAD:– A major win for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government as joint session of Parliament has passed resolution for Electoral Reforms Amendment Bill.

According to details, 221 lawmakers supported the motion while only 203 members of the opposition opposed the resolution.

Highly anticipated joint session of Parliament is underway as government hopes to pass about two dozen bills and the opposition prepares to give tough time to the treasury benches.

Shehbaz Sharif calls EVMs ‘evil and vicious machine’

President of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Shehbaz Sharif has called electronic voting machines (EVMs) “evil and vicious machines”.

Addressing the session, Opposition Leader of National Assembly said that the government and its allies wanted to bulldoze important bills and termed it “illegal” and said that it spoiled the traditions of parliament.

PML-N President said that initially the session was postponed and the government said it wanted to consult with the opposition on the issue but it was a ploy to buy time so that the government could secure the votes it needed. You had no intention of doing consultations on the issue, he added.

He said that there are always allegations of rigging during the elections but this is the first time in history that there are allegations of rigging before the elections. The “selected government” wanted to introduce EVMs because it can no longer ask the people for votes, he added.

PML-N President asked Asad Qaiser to defer the joint session so “comprehensive consultation” could take place on the matter of electoral reforms.

We’re introducing EVMs to bury evil desires: FM Qureshi

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) doesn’t want to impose black law rather it is striving to eliminate the bad practices of previous governments.

Speaking in joint session of the Parliament, the minister said that questions were raised on every election conducted after 1970. The time has come to improve our direction and focus on the development of the country, he added.

Qureshi said that we are tabling the bills as we have required majority for their approvals. PTI government is determined to move forward in a democratic way, he expressed.

The minister said that we are introducing EVMs to bury evil desires.

Opposition won’t accept next election if govt passes black laws: Bilawal

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that government is going forward with one-sided electoral reforms which have never before been seen in the country’s history.

While referring to previous government former PM Nawaz Sharif, Bilawal said that the PML-N had clear majority and if it unilaterally decided and used the majority to force reforms, then the PTI and the PPP would not have been able to do anything.

“If they had decided to introduce a constitutional amendment, then we would have to accept their decision. But they achieved a consensus,” he said.

He said that if we carried out reforms together then the next election would not be controversial and it would have been Khan Sahab’s success.

However, he said that the opposition would not accept the results of the next election if the government continued in the manner it was proceeding in.

He also reminded the speaker that he is the custodian of the National Assembly of Pakistan and had agreed in writing with the Opposition that whatever legislation is brought in will be done with consensus.

Speaking about the EVM, he said even the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has rejected it and raised 37 serious objections over the machine.

Bilawal said they will stand by the ECP. “As long as the ECP has reservations, we have reservations,” Bilawal said.

No personal interest behind electoral reforms: PM Imran Khan

Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on Wednesday has said that he has no personal interest behind legislation regarding electoral reforms.

Talking to media, the premier said that country’s future is linked to the fair democracy practices. You will play very important role in holding transparent and rigging-free elections, he stated to media personnel.

The PM said that overseas Pakistanis are backbone of country’s economy and they also have right to participate in election process. Overseas voting and electronic voting machines (EVMs) are essential for country and democracy, he added.Parliament

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