Rabbani warns govt against
misadventure on poll reforms

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Raza Rabbani has warned the government against taking any decision without national consensus about electoral reforms, stating that it can put the democratic system at stake.

“Any step taken, major issues decided or legislation done, in connection with electoral reforms, without a consensus among all stakeholders will not be accepted and will put the entire democratic system at stake,” Mr Rabbani said in a statement on Thursday.

Raza Rabbani

“Any step taken, major issues decided or legislation done, in connection with electoral reforms, without a consensus amongst all stakeholders will not be accepted and will put the entire democratic system at stake,” he said in a statement on Thursday. Rabbani said the mode and manner of conducting general election could not be left to the whims and wishes of a political party.

“Electoral reforms have to be an inclusive exercise in which all political and stakeholders’ views are taken and effectively translated into reality,” he said.

He advised the government to develop consensus among all the stakeholders and the Election Commission should play its role to ensure free and fair elections.

The PPP senator said that the mode and manner of conducting general election could not be left to whims and wishes of a political party, adding that “electoral reforms have to be an inclusive exercise in which all political and stakeholders’ views are taken and effectively translated into a reality”.

Mr Rabbani said the government should be aware that any “misadventure” on the question of electoral reforms in or outside Parliament would have serious consequences on the system.

“The government will be advised to develop a consensus amongst all stakeholders and the Election Commission of Pakistan should play its role to ensure free and fair elections, as the government is an interested party,” he concluded.

Mr Rabbani issued the statement a day after Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan in a news conference vowed to get the legislation on the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and I-voting for the overseas Pakistanis passed by the end of the current year even without the opposition’s support.