Reform the electoral process


As a citizen, one is deeply concerned about the obvious inaccuracies in the electoral process. I have sent many letters and emails to the ECP offices highlighting these shortcomings. However, there has neither been a response nor a move to make the desired changes. It is clear that unless the ECP begins to make major corrections in its processes we are very likely to end up with a fake and fraudulent election just like the one staged by ECP in 2008.
Some of the concerns that have surfaced so far are:
1. Inaccuracies in voter lists in terms of wrong names, wrong polling addresses, names not included and names included even for those who have expired.
2. ECP’s failure to provide a simple and practical method to correct the errors.
3. Unwillingness to correct the causes of the past mistakes which led to 37 million fake votes, fake degree holders and dual nationality holders cheat the system.
4. The ECP has no mechanism in place to control those polling stations that are located in a political party or wadera’s stronghold, where people of another party/tribe cannot even enter leave aside cast a vote.
5. The ECP has dragged its feet on the electronic voting machine and intends to continue with the vulnerable ‘parchi’ stuffing system.
6. There are some 2-3 million people, whose permanent address is erroneously listed as their voting address. This essentially amounts to disenfranchisement by design. The ECP fails to understand that all it needs to do is to use the already verified NADRA’s CNIC holders list (along with its current addresses) as the default voters’ list, instead of preparing a new and erroneous one.
The ECP would do well to invite and meet a cross-section of citizens in small groups of 6 to 10 individuals in every major city of Pakistan. These discussions should be focused on problems and their possible solutions. The ECP Provincial Members, Commissioners and other senior officials should participate in these meetings, which may be held in ECP offices instead of five star hotels.