The country has witnessed a political crisis due to protests organized by some opposition political parties for alleged accusations of mass scale organized electoral rigging in General Elections 2013. The episode of accusations and counter accusation levelled by opposition and government consumed at least six months of nation. Recently, the government and opposition reached to agreement of forming judicial commission with set rules to probe the matter. Is it enough for free and fair elections and democratic future of Pakistan? Certainly, it is not.Pakistan electoral processes need broader reforms beside the probing and recommendations of judicial commission. As a matter of fact, the parliamentary committee set for electoral reforms in July 2014 mandated to bring reforms within 90 days have made just two or three meetings and invited suggestions from political parties and civil society groups for electoral reforms. There seems no progress on election reforms initiatives. On the other side, Election Commission of Pakistan also set broader objectives of election reforms in ECP Five Years Strategic Plan 2014-18. The democratic development in Pakistan is in transition state, and any form misappropriation in electoral processes could result into peoples distrust on democracy. Political parties and other stakeholders need to take seriously the initiatives for electoral reforms.The electoral reforms can be constituted in changing in final electoral roll that should consider voters at present address, separate polling day for National and Provincial Assemblies elections, scrutiny and finalization of nomination papers with the help of concerned state departments, voting rights for outside Pakistanis, the use of electronic voting machines, the provision ‘choice of None’ on ballot, political finance regulations especially monitoring of the election expenses, appointment and accountability of District Returning Officers and Returning Officers, fixed timeline of elections, one constituency per candidate to avoid expenses on exchequer and repeated election exercise and some others. Such reforms are the dire need to make democracy work in Pakistan.

Spread the word
Posted in Uncategorised

Leave a Reply