ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Senator Syed Shibli Faraz Thursday said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will now select the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) through floating tenders.
"Since the Electoral Reforms Bill has been signed today so now ECP has to select EVM through floating tenders after which different companies will come forward with their products and the best would be selected by ECP", Shibli Faraz said while addressing at the Ceremony of Signing Electoral Reforms Bill 2021.
He said that ECP has already constituted three committees including one technical committee which would formalize their specifications and float the international tenders in the given timeline as initially selection of EVM is an important task.
He said, "Today is an important occasion for Pakistan to bring democratic and political stability in our country".
"The present government has taken bold decisions and Prime Minister Imran Khan is confident from day one that elections of 2023 will be conducted through EVM", he added.
The federal minister termed the decision of giving the right of vote to the overseas Pakistanis as another landmark development and a memorable day in democratic history of the country which would yield positive results.
"It is heartening to see that those who contribute immensely in our country through their remittances will be part of the election process", he said.
Shibli Faraz said that making elections transparent and non-controversial through use of technology was the promise and part of our manifesto.
The minister acknowledged the support extended by President Arif Alvi and the cabinet members for fulfilling this commitment.
The minister said that around 23 months are left in the elections and we have sufficient time to complete all the processes regarding use of EVM in elections.
The minister said that every election remained disputed in our country and a movement launched after every election against the results which has destabilized the country economically and politically .
Such a situation created tension in the parliament owing to which democracy could not flourish in a way the country needed, he said.
About the journey of manufacturing the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), the minister elaborated that his ministry in collaboration with National University of Science and Technology (NUST) manufactured the prototype of EVM within a short span of time and tested on three to four thousand voters before presenting it at the different forums.
"We have given live demonstrations at provincial and national assemblies, universities and different important forums", he said.
The EVM was prepared following the parameters and requirements given by ECP.
The EVM was manufactured without the Bluetooth and internet facility. Basically it was a proof of concept and it was not necessary to use this specific machine for conducting elections.
He pointed out that the efforts were continued for EVM in the country since the year 2010.