Verifying voter lists

Published December 30, 2011

The Election Commission of Pakistan was given the task to remove the 37 million bogus voters from the list (Dec 16) and replace them with new ones eligible to vote.

The Supreme Court observed that the preparing of voter list can be delegated to National Database and Registration Authority if the Election Commission is not able to complete the task.

Nadra has the record of all eligible voters and is also responsible for issuing the National Identity Card. It is better equipped to prepare the voter list.

The Election Commission’s prime responsibility should be to ensure transparent, free and fair election, it should consider making voting compulsory and improving the system of vote casting at polling stations.

It should introduce electronic machines in some areas. The Election Commission should also make and implement laws which are mandatory for political parties to develop democracy within their parties.

Those political parties that want to participate in the national and provincial assembly should present their list of candidates who will be participating in the national and provincial election at least two to three months before the election date, so that the Election Commission can verify the candidates’ credentials and their financial status such as their assets, income tax payment statement, general profile and character. These candidates should not be office-bearers of the party.

The Election Commission of Pakistan should only register those political parties that submit the list of at least five thousand and two thousand voter members of their party. These members should also elect their party officer-bearers every year like the lawyer bar elections are held every year.

At present there are hundreds of political parties registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan having no office but with only four or five persons as office-bearers.

S.T. HUSSAIN Lahore

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