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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Sunday has again expressed concerns over the performance of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja.

Addressing a press conference along with the federal minister of Science and Technology Shibli Faraz, Fawad said that it seems like CEC is supporting opposition’s narrative. Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has raised baseless objections on electronic voting machine (EVM), he added.

Fawad Ch said that CEC is against the reforms suggested by the government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). He further urged other members to come forward and review the decisions taken by Sikandar Sultan Raja.

The minister said it seems that the Election Commissioner had already decided to oppose EVM, a campaign is being launched to reject EVM. The Chief Election Commissioner is becoming an obstacle in electoral reforms, he added.

Fawad said there is a difference between the election commission and an election commissioner and it is the latter whose character is questionable.

He said that the election commissioner will have to show seriousness as the objections raised by the ECP are not valid.

Speaking on the occasion, Shibli Faraz said his ministry had prepared a prototype of the EVM and invited the political parties and the ECP to examine its functioning, but they did not take it seriously.

The minister said if ECP does not trust the machine prepared by the Ministry of Science and Technology then it is free to procure such a machine from anywhere.

But, he said, it was quite unfortunate that ECP had not extended such cooperation which it was supposed to offer.

The ECP gave a list of 37 objections, out of which 27 were related to the incapacity of ECP itself to handle EVMs.

The remaining 10 observations were related to the technical side corresponding to EVM including lack of ballot secrecy, lack of voter anonymity, lack of transparency, biasedness of machine, hackable, reusability of technology and easy upgradation, lack of evidence in election disputes, technical challenges, upgradation etc.

He said the EVM prepared by his ministry addressed all these observations too.

Earlier, CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja chaired a meeting over allegations leveled by the federal ministers.

The participants deliberated upon the discussions which took place during the meetings in Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs.

The ECP members had expressed anger over federal ministers for accusing the commission of taking bribes. The allegations are baseless and unacceptable as the ECP is a constitutional department, they stated.