ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Saunday has asserted that the 2023 general elections will only be held after electoral reforms take place.
The minister announced this while adressing a press conference on Sunday in Islamabad demaned that Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja should resign and join politics if he cannot refrain from controversies.
Chaudhry was accompanied by Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz, as he continued his criticism of Chief Election Commissioner.
“A campaign is being run against EVMs,” he added accused the CEC and the Opposition “are speaking the same tongue”
He also condemned the CEC and Opposition for placing barriers in the way of electoral reforms.
Chaudhry also suspected and said that the CEC is against EVMs “under some agenda”.
He further said that the objections raised on the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) were imposed “deliberately” and only 10 out of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP) 37 objections were pertained to the EVMs.
The ECP “disappearing” all points in it’s report, Chaudry accused, were in favour of EVM.
Chaudhry also demanded explanation for CEC’s absence in meetings attended by the president. He remarked “this is not a banana republic” for him to behave this way.
“He doesn’t bother about the Supreme Court, the president of Pakistan, National Database and Registration Authority, or anything, if he is not in a good mood,” Fawad Chaudry alleged.
“This is the first time in Pakistan’s history, The minister said that the government is thinking about bringing election reforms, as in the past it was always the Opposition that spoke about it.
“The reforms introduced by the government have increased the people’s trust in the voting process far beyond the previous 33% and everyone agrees that the current election system needs reforms,” said Chaudhry.
He restated that PTI has always favored electoral reforms and EVMs since they want impartial and transparent elections.
Chaudhry questioned the Opposition and ECP to put forward their opinions for reforms if they don’t approve of the ones introduced by the government.
“The government will invite two members of the ECP to come along and review the points raised by CEC Raja in the ECP report,” said the minister.