The Election Commission of Pakistan has said that it has no authority to take a decision about holding the general elections using the biometric system as it is dependent on Parliament to decide in this regard.
Last week, The Supreme Court said that it is impossible to incorporate an electronic voting system for the upcoming general elections 2018-19 in the country. Justice Nisar stated that it would be impossible to apply the electronic voting system in such a short duration as there was not much time in the next upcoming polls.
In an attempt to do online scrutiny of nomination papers, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) last week has asked National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to develop software which would enable the online scrutiny of nomination papers filed by potential candidates ahead of the upcoming general elections 2018-19.
However, due to the ongoing debate about the use of biometric tech in the upcoming elections ECP secretary Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad told media persons on 16 May that “When the Parliament will decide to hold elections on biometric system, we will use the hi-tech facility in any next election.” The ECP can only continue experimenting with the use of the biometric system in elections and keep the Parliament posted.
He further said that introducing the biometric system in general elections is a big challenge and could not be taken at once. He further added that added that the commission’s law provided that biometric’s pilot testing could be done in by-elections.
It’s been six years that opposition parties have approached the Supreme Court for the introduction of e-voting system in general elections but still, it’s not clear why the system is still in testing phase and doesn’t seem to be implemented in the upcoming elections 2018-19.