LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif rejected on Sunday the government’s proposal to use electronic voting machines, saying such decisions cannot be made by one individual.
“The sensitive process of electoral reforms is undertaken with the will and confidence of the entirety of the nation,” said Shehbaz said in a statement.
“The reforms come to fore through consultation between all the sides involved and in the light of the masses’ opinion and unanimity,” he added.
The PML-N chief went on to add that “crucial national steps do not take place on the aspirations or order of one individual.”
Terming the parliament a centre and reflection of the aspirations of people, he said, “It has been locked up for the last three years.”
“We can undertake electoral reforms as we have the patience and will to take political rivals along and implement their proposals.”
Shehbaz recalled that the PML-N undertook historic political reforms with the consultation of all political parties, including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
“No one had objected to those reforms as it was a reflection of endorsement by all,” he said, adding that “the opposition was mocked by chants of NRO as it attempted to introduce the charter of economy and [other] positive propositions.”
Concluding, the PML-N chief said that the world has rejected electronic voting, adding that the Election Commission has also termed it unviable.
He advised the rulers to instead pay attention to the economy, skyrocketing inflation, joblessness, and the miserable conditions of the masses.
‘PML-N avoiding reforms’
Responding to the PML-N’s stance, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry lamented that the party was “avoiding the proposed reforms.”
He added, “Why would a party that always came into power though conspiracies talk about reforms.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Imran Khan, while referring to the claims of rigging in NA-249, Karachi by-polls and Senate elections, reiterated that electronic voting machines (EVM) were the only answer to reclaim the credibility of elections in the country, and invited the opposition to sit with the government and “select an EVM model we have available”.