Stories about Election Commission of Pakistan

Why is Pakistan asking a foreign supplier to build our electronic voting machines?

Elections in Pakistan are going electronic. No announcement has been made yet but two tenders released last month by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) suggest that this is the way the country is going. In one tender the ECP would ask vendors to bid for 300 biometric verification machines (BVM). These will be tried out during the by-elections. If successful, the winning bidder will get an order for 300,000 machines for use in the general elections. The second tender is for 400 electronic voting machines (EVM) followed, in the event of a successful trial, by 300,000 machines for the ...

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Stop celebrating Sadiq Khan’s victory, Pakistan, you have no right to celebrate

Sadiq Khan is now the mayor of London. There are countless reasons to celebrate this feat. On a personal level, it is indeed a great achievement for someone who was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. His father was a Pakistan immigrant and a bus driver who brought up Sadiq and his siblings in a council property. Imagine the son of that particular immigrant getting elected by a record mandate in London; it’s a truly superb moment. Congratulations to him for a truly remarkable victory. But can every Pakistani and every Muslim personally feel proud over the appointment of the new ...

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NA 122 by-elections: A futile power competition serving no real purpose

October 11, 2015, will be one of the most anticipated and crucial contests in a by-election. It is not Aleem Khan versus Ayaz Sadiq, but Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) versus Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N). Political observers and analysts are seeing this as a decisive battle between two fierce rivals. The by-election in NA 122 is, for almost all practical purposes, a question of political survival for both PTI and PML-N. The election is being seen by both parties as an opportunity for vindication of their stance regarding the fairness of general elections 2013 (General Elections 2013). The chairman of PTI himself contested and lost to Ayaz Sadiq of ...

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For PTI, it’s either ‘yes’ to by-elections or ‘bye’ to elections

Imran Khan had sought investigation in four constituencies to ascertain whether the General Elections 2013 (GE 2013)were rigged or manipulated. Election tribunals have ruled in favour of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Inshaf (PTI) in three out of four ‘sample’ constituencies handpicked by the PTI chairman. Imran also demanded for the formation of a Judicial Commission (JC) to probe rigging in the GE 2013 on an overall basis. A JC was formed and no rigging or manipulation was proven. In its report, the JC rejected all allegations of planned rigging but pointed out grave irregularities by the Election commission of Pakistan (ECP). Of the three election tribunals that ruled in favour of PTI candidates, ...

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10 reasons why the Judicial Commission verdict is a stepping stone for PTI

The verdict is out and it has shocked leaders, members and supporters of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI). Yes, we are talking about the Judicial Commission (JC) report on the alleged rigging in the 2013 General Elections. While Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) celebrations add to PTI’s wounds, anyone who thinks that the verdict is an irreparable blow to PTI may need to think again. Believing in ‘every cloud has a silver lining’, here are my two cents why JC’s verdict may be one of the best things for PTI. 1. No excuse for PML-N Had Nawaz Sharif resigned due to the sit-ins or after the findings of the JC ...

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Gilgit-Baltistan elections: The nth nail in the coffin of women equality

Religion has deepened its roots into Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) once again, where the Legislative elections are set to be held in June, 2015. The first symptom of this religiosity is the allegations against various party leaders for using mosques and imambargahs as launching platforms for their political activities. The second symptom is the current unanimous decision of a so-called jirga (local council) which bars women to vote, as it would put the religious, cultural and social honour of the region at stake – according to a report by BBC Urdu. The jirga was held in Diamir, one of the seven districts of G-B. Whereas ...

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Round one: Imran Khan versus Asma Jahangir

When a minor political disagreement turns into an acrimonious battle of nerves, the stage is set for a senseless blame game. Beyond this point, the purpose is no longer to find a solution to the issue at hand. On the contrary, it becomes a matter of settling scores and, at best, winning. The war of words between PTI chief, Imran Khan, and prominent lawyer and former Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president, Asma Jahangir, last week offers a glaring testament of this belief. Unfortunately, not all battles can be won through veiled assaults and criticism. Silent tussle The conflict brewed against the backdrop ...

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Were Pakistan’s 2013 elections really rigged?

13 months on, and the issue of electoral rigging is still alive and well. Many of us wish this were not so; that Imran Khan would just give it a rest and get on with his parliamentary duties rather than taking his band of merry men town to town, stirring up the same issue like a broken record. Quite a few also suspect that the purpose of his actions may not simply be the pursuit of justice or even electoral reform. For them, it seems quite logical to assume darker motives. Such speculation is eminently justified given the events currently unfolding in ...

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The stories of three first-time voters

My first voting experience By Aaminah Qadir A junior at Yale University studying Global Affairs and History of Art. I arrived home from college, excitedly, two days before the general elections to cast my first ever vote. The 2013 elections were too precious to miss. Pakistan was begging for a change. I had previously heard that it is only the elite that will vote for drastic change, that only a small minority will support a new face, but what I heard was wrong. My entire family and I reached the polling office in Korangi at 8:20am. I was baffled to see a line of over ...

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The comparative disadvantage of poll violence

Pundits have long predicted a blood-stained run-up to election day. So far, candidates recovering from a gruelling scrutiny process and an equally tiresome ticket awarding process, kept electioneering to a minimum. But as we enter the last few weeks of campaigning, the need for public canvassing is forcing candidates to take to the streets. As aspirants reach out to their constituents, they are exposing themselves to a clear and present danger — the threat to their lives. This threat, posed by terrorist elements bent upon derailing elections, is particularly significant for those who belong to districts with a deteriorating security situation, ...

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