President Alvi promulgates ordinances regarding elections, parents’ protection

Elections (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2021 allows voting rights to overseas Pakistanis and use of electronic voting machines during election process

ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi on Saturday promulgated Elections (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, allowing voting rights to overseas Pakistanis and use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) during the election process.

According to the ordinance issued by the president, changes were made to section 94 (1) and section 103 of the Election Act 2017. The amendments will help in ensuring that overseas Pakistanis vote during the next general election.

Furthermore, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would also be bound to purchase electronic voting machines (EVMs) ahead of the general election as amendments were made in sections pertaining to the use of biometric machines for a pilot project.

The president also promulgated Parents Protection Ordinance (PPO), 2021 to protect parents from being forcibly evicted by the children. The ordinance will render the act punishable by jail time or fine or both.

The PPO, 2021 also restricts children, who own the property or have rented the space themselves, in forcing out their parents of the house. Separately, if the parents want their children out of the house that the parents own or have rented, the children will be held responsible for not obeying the instructions.

The children must leave the house of their parents within 30 days of the written notice issued by the parents and failing to do so might land them in jail for 30 days or slap a fine on them or both.

The deputy commissioner of any district now has the power to move against the children upon complaint by parents. The action against such children whose parents have made formal complaint falling under the ambit of this ordinance will require no warrant. However, both parents and the children will have the right to appeal.

Earlier on May 4, the federal cabinet had approved two ordinances regarding the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voting rights for overseas Pakistanis.

Sharing details regarding decisions taken during the cabinet meeting headed by Prime Minister Imran Khan in a presser, Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry had said that through an ordinance the ECP has been authorised to use EVM.

“Another ordinance has given the ECP authority regarding voting rights for the overseas Pakistanis,” the information minister had said while lamenting that certain people do not know the powers rested with the Parliament.

He had said that the government has fulfilled its responsibility regarding legislation on the matter. “Technological work is to be done on biometric and e-voting,” he had said adding that they have appointed a consultant to finalise recommendations in this regard.

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