Steps for the ECP to take... By Naeem
19 October, 2012
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has taken a step in the right direction by organising a Voters Day on October 17, 2012. However, the ECP ought to undertake a number of measures for there to be any significant difference between its past and future performances. The ECP conducted the 2008 elections with 37 million fake votes, failing to check around 200 fake degree holders and around 80-100 dual nationals. They duped the system and became our legislators. The ECP should institute an accountability process to punish the concerned ECP officials for their negligence or complicity. If the ECP fails to do so, one should safely assume that it does not understand the damage it has caused and, therefore, is likely to repeat its mistakes.
The ECP has so far failed to investigate the true number of those parliamentarians who fall in the above two categories. Nor has it disqualified any of them on its own. This is yet another message that the ECP will also be willing to tolerate such deceptions in the next elections. The ECP has been making fresh electoral lists, which is redundant and uncalled for. In doing so they have already introduced more errors. All they need to do is refrain from making fresh lists and to accept NADRA's list of CNIC holders as the master list of voters. From this list they should remove the names of those who have expired. The ECP voter registration and information correction process is outdated, cumbersome and impractical. The ECP should create an SMS telephonic process to make these changes. The current address mentioned in the CNIC's should be the default voting address of all voters, unless he/she specifically requests a change to the permanent address. Polling booths must not be established in areas that are a stronghold of any one tribe or political party. Such places do not welcome 'outsiders' and are extremely vulnerable to rigging. Most polling booths should be located in large open grounds where they are accessible to all (without fear) and can be more accurately monitored.