Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Only ECPs officials to choose and procure EVMs: Shibli Faraz

Senator Shibli Faraz, Federal Minister for Science and Technology, has stated that only the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has the authority to select and procure electronic voting equipment (EVMs).

Shibli Faraz, speaking to the press today, stated that the ECP should conduct a tender and acquire electronic voting machines. He clarified that the ministry had also discussed the possibility of using EVMs, but that the manufacturer was not involved.

The minister went on to say that the ministry has demonstrated that an EVM can be created domestically in accordance with the needs of the country.

“We have urged that the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) begin the procurement of electronic voting machines.” ECP is responsible for procuring the EVM of its choosing; nevertheless, the government has provided ECP with a 500-meter storage area for its equipment. Coordination with the electoral commission is an important part of our activity.”

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In a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier this month, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja urged that the EVM and i-voting projects be given a position on the government’s agenda.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the Chief Election Commissioner stated that the election commission was taking steps to incorporate technology into the electoral process.

When he wrote his letter, the CEC offered four possible facilities for the project management unit to be housed in.

“The management unit can be housed in the guest rooms of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences and the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research,” the letter stated. An empty floor of the Ministry of Science and Technology, as well as the Sir Syed Memorial Society’s building, could also be made available for the project, according to the Chief Executive Officer.

“The work on the recruitment of information technology specialists has reached its conclusion. According to the letter, the information technology teams would work on “the application of technology in the electoral process for the electronic voting machines and i-voting.”

According to the federal government, electronic voting machines (EVMs) would be provided to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) so that local body elections in Islamabad can be held this coming April.

During the period from January to April, the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology will furnish the Election Commission with 3,900 electronic voting machines.

The ECP had requested 3,900 electronic voting machines from the government, of which 3,100 would be utilized at 800 polling sites for the local bodies elections of Mayor Islamabad and 800 machines would be used as backup equipment.

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