February 11, 2016 -
Michael Gahler, the head of European Union’s (EU) Follow-up Mission in Pakistan has advised the country against introducing electronic voting and biometric voter identification for the next general elections.
According to a report in The Express Tribune, Gahler said the technology will not address the issues Pakistan has been facing for years to ensure free, fair and transparent elections.
“You cannot substitute a lack of administrative capacity and other deficits by introducing a computerized voting (system),” said Gahler.
Gahler recently met members of the parliamentary committee on electoral reforms, the chief election commissioner, the Senate chairman, the chief justice and other stakeholders to review progress regarding the electoral reforms in the country and expressed doubts about the success of electronic voting and biometric identification system in Pakistan for the 2018 polls.
According to the report, Gahler commented that rather than making a huge investment in an unknown system which could cause problems, Pakistan should strengthen its election commission first and its administrative capacity to ensure transparent elections.
Gahler also said that there was no harm in testing an e-voting system in by-elections but that he opposed introducing it now for the general elections.