Senate passes Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022

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ISLAMABAD, May 27 (APP):The Senate on Friday passed the Elections (Amendment) Bill, 2022, making certain amendments in some sections of the previous Elections Act, 2017.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Javed Murtaza Abbasi presented the bill before the house to amend the Elections Act, 2017, which was unanimously passed by the Senate.

The house was informed that Sections 94 and 103 of Elections Act 2017 were amended vide Act No.LV of 2021 for using I-voting and Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) from the next General Elections.

Defining the reason, the house was informed that “The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) faces technical difficulties to embark upon conducting elections as per amended provisions ibid.”

“Since Article 218(3) of the Constitution obligates the ECP to conduct free, fair and transparent elections, the instant bill proposes to restore the amendments of Act No. LV of 2021 to their original contents for conducting more pilot projects before using I-Voting and EVMs in general elections.”

The house passed the insertion of new section 72B, Act XXXIII of 2017. Now in the said act, after 72A, the new section 72B will be inserted namely ‘72B.Effects of section 72A’.

As per amendment in section 94, Act XXXIII of 2017, “The Commission may conduct pilot projects for voting by Overseas Pakistanis in bye-elections to ascertain the technical efficacy, secrecy, security and financial feasibility of such voting and shall share the results with the government, which shall, within fifteen days from the commencement of a session of House after the receipt of the report, lay the same before both Houses of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament).”

As per amendment in section 103, Act XXXIII of 2017 namely Electronic voting and biometric verification, “The Commission may conduct pilot projects for utilization of electronic voting machines and biometric verification, casting and counting of votes to assess the technical efficacy, secrecy, security and financial feasibility of the electronic voting machines and biometric verification system and shall share the results with the Government, which shall, within fifteen days from the commencement of a session of a House after the receipt of the report, lay the same before both Houses of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament).”