Parliament grants voting rights to overseas Pakistanis; EVMs get the nod

ISLAMABAD: Amidst anger and criticism by the opposition, the federal government has managed to get the bills passed regarding granting the voting rights to overseas Pakistanis and allowing the usage of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the upcoming elections.

The opposition members, as expected, staged a walk out in protest. Slogans against the prime minister were also raised. The leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif had earlier called the EVMs ‘evil and vicious’.

Sharif did not hold back from lambasting at the government, stating that what the government did was illegal and was akin to ruining the parliament’s tradition.

Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Bilawal Bhutto also criticised the ‘unilateral’ electoral reforms. Bilawal pointed out that the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) could have made Constitutional amendments had they chosen to do so, but they opted for a consensus.

He also said that the opposition would not accept the results of the next elections, if the government continued to operate in the same manner.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi welcomed the move and said that it was a ‘historic day’ for the whole election process was being made ‘clean and transparent’.

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