Electoral reforms - GulfToday

Electoral reforms

Imran khan

Imran Khan

Unfortunately in Pakistan respected institutions have lost their credibility, and it is the need of the hour to do constitutional reforms to make institutions credible again (“Imran Khan wants US-like electronic voting system for transparent elections in Pakistan,’” March 9, Gulf Today).

Prime Minister Imran Khan told the federal cabinet that he wanted the use of technology such as Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in the elections and regular updates on mechanisms being developed to ensure overseas Pakistanis can vote. In Pakistan, it’s a common practice that after the general elections, the losing side of the political parties refuses to accept defeat, question the role of the Election Commission of Pakistan, and start the movement against the elected government from the day one.

The appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan goes through a constitutional process, in which both the government and the opposition in the National Assembly reach an agreement in the name of a person, and announce him as the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan for next five years.

But because of political affiliations, the role of the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan remains doubtful. The March 3 Senate Elections, in which former Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gilani, backed by all opposition parties in the National Assembly, reportedly won the Senate election against Hafeez Shaikh, by manipulating treasure bench votes, but the Election Commission kept quiet, making the role of the present Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan Sikandar Sultan Raja more suspect.

Government also filed an appeal in election commission of Pakistan against March 3 elections and presented a viral video of Ali Haider Gilani, a son of former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Yousuf Raza Gilani as an evidence, but the commission rejected a plea and issued the notification of the PPP senator-elect’s victory in the polls.

In the video Ali Haider Gilani was dealing with members of Parliament from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and offering them millions of rupees in return for their vote in favour of his father, Yousuf Raza Gilani. And later he also accepted on the National media that the video is genuine.

It is so important to make the process of elections crystal clear so each side can accept the result and allow elected government to work for the betterment of poor people instead of fighting each other all the time.

Hamid Pasha
By email  

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