Taj warns of rigging in absence of electronic voter machines

KARACHI: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Sindh chapter General Secretary Taj Haider has said that free and fair elections were not possible in absence of electronic voter machines.

Addressing a discussion forum on “Sindh Local Government Ordnance 2013 – An Overview” at the office of a local non-governmental organization, Taj Haider said that earlier Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) assured all parties that local bodies election would be held in presence of electronic voter machines but now they had refused to provide it.

“We witnessed immense rigging during general elections due to absence of electronic voter machines but we cannot allow it in local bodies’ election. Election commission should provide electronic machines otherwise these elections would not be credible.”

Haider said that the PPP had decided to bring more women on general seats in local bodies’ election. “In each panel of the union council, there is a reserved seat for women but we want more participation of women, therefore we are encouraging more women to fight on general seats.”

PPP leader said that each panel would consists of a chairman, a vice chairman, four general seats, three reserved seats which include one each for woman, labour and minorities. “One more seat is added in rural areas which include a person who would represent his panel in district council,” he said.

He said that the PPP saved Sindh from unrest after withdrawing the local government bill before elections. “If we had not withdrawn that bill in February, there was a chance of great unrest in Sindh but PPP acted wisely and withdrew it.”

Taj Haider said that the new bill was approved after recommendations from all sectors of the society including opposition groups, civil society and others.