NA approves bill barring use of EVMs, voting by overseas Pakistanis in general polls

The National Assembly of Pakistan has passed the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2022 on Thursday, which blocks the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in general elections along with barring overseas Pakistanis from voting.

The bill was presented in the house by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Murtaza Javed Abbasi and was passed with a majority vote. Only members of the Grand Democratic Alliance opposed the legislation.

Prior to tabling the bill, Abbasi presented a motion that allowed the bill to be sent directly to the Senate for its approval. In doing so, the bill bypassed being sent to the relevant standing committee. The motion was also passed by the NA with a majority vote.

It is anticipated that the bill would be sent to the Senate tomorrow.

Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar said that the legislation was of utmost importance. He remembered that the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government had made several amendments to the Election Act, 2017. These included the utilization of EVMs and granting overseas Pakistanis with the right to vote in the general elections.

Tarar said the bill which was presented today aimed to restore the Elections Act, 2017 in its condition prior to the amendments made by the PTI government. He said the new bill would ensure free, fair, and transparent elections.