Much needed electoral reforms


Prime Minister Imran Khan once again reiterated that the government was determined to introduce reforms in the electoral system with the use of latest technology to bring transparency and credibility. While sharing his thoughts to the world at twitter forum, he invited the opposition to sit with them and select from the available electronic voting machine (EVM) models to restore elections credibility. He referred to recent NA: 249 election result disputed by different political parties and said that use of technology would strengthen the democratic system in the country. According to Prime Minister, the government had been asking the opposition parties to cooperate and help them reform the present electoral system over the year, but unfortunately, no substantive reforms were put in place. He noted that use of technology & Electronic Voting Machines is the only answer to reclaim credibility of elections. He observed that apart from 1970 election, in every election claims of rigging have raised doubts over credibility of election results. PTI government is continuously advocating for electoral reforms to bring transparency in the election process and suggesting use of technology and EVM for this purposes, however, Opposition leader Mian Shahbaz Sharif objected the Government’s suggestion while saying that the world has rejected the use of Electronic voting machine due to alleged tempering and unsatisfactory results. PML-N is acute critic of EVM due to its bitter experience during GE-2018. This is the biggest failure of Pakistan’s political system to hold credible and transparent elections, and always losers start muttering against the system. There are several reasons for this failure, but the most important factor is inability of the political parties to forge a consensus on the reforms to curb the malpractice in electoral process. In fact, there is need for strict legislation and formulation of rules and regulations at national level to end irregularities and partiality of election staff during polling process. For that purpose, Opposition must respond to the government’s call and negotiate the ways and means to bring transparency in electoral process through mutual consensus on the issue. After, successful electoral reforms, all parties must display true political spirit and learn to accept the results whatsoever may be.