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Political Crisis, Electoral Reforms & The CEC Appointment

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Electoral System in Pakistan has always remained a question mark upon the elected representative and the election Commission of Pakistan. Pakistan is a democratic country where five year tenure is fixed for every party to complete and installs the interim Government itself with consultation of opposition party leader for both the National and Provincial Assemblies.

The Democracy has been undergoing the process of transformation and transition, and the people have not tested or reaped the fruit of true democracy .With frequent Coup D’états, Pakistan has remained more under rule of Military leaders than the elected Civilian Government. The  Political confrontation and  denial or disrespect of mandate of parties led the  Separation  of Bangladesh  in 1971  when Sheikh Mujeeb-ur-rahman’s Awami League was denied to hand over the power  besides having a simple majority or thumping majority .

Had they (Bengalis) have been given chance to form the Government, the scenario should have completely change. The handing over of the rein may be considered a key issue but there were other factors which prompted them to opt for independence such Justice, equal rights and humiliation on the grounds ethnicity.

Pakistan presents a bleak picture of Political tenures if compared with our neighboring India where electoral system has improved with the passage of time and the democracy has been transformed into real democracy where every Government completes its term and goes away and Chief Election Commissioner becomes the head of the Governments and holds elections in phases and hands over the reins of Country in the hands of Party having simple majority or the party leading any coalition.

In Pakistan, in last five decades from 1947 to 1999, the country was ruled by mighty Armed Forces Heads by imposing Marshal Law and over throwing the Civilian Governments. The Civilian Governments were hardly to complete three and half years.  The maximum time completed by any Party was in PPP led Government from 2008 to 2013. Though, PPP failed to deliver. Given the circumstances, yet it could be said that it was first civilian Government to complete its tenure in entirety. Whereas the Military rulers such as Yahya Khan ,Ayoob khan ,General Zia ul Haq , and General Pervez Musharraf remained the Heads of State in both Marshal Law and Civilian Regime .

But it is very important to be shared here that whenever , the Political parties plan to fail or oust the government , they invite the Mighty Army  to come and hold the reins country giving the instanced of Bad Governance , law and Order Situation ,Inter and External Security threat to the existence of Pakistan . But in the end when they feel that they need to be the part of the Government, they start agitating the Army that they derailed democracy by over throwing the Elected Civil Government by terming the Marshal Law Administrators as dictators.

Given the contradictory History of Military intervention in the Civilian Government, The Current Army Chief Raheel Shareef remained aloof from the Political Saga staged at D-Chowk by Pakistan Awami Tehreek Chief Allama Dr. Tahir-ur- Qadri against Model Town Incident and PTI Chief Imran Khan against rigging in the Elections. Though, Army was dragged into the Political matter several times either by giving the name of Third umpire or Making him mediator or facilitator to set the matters peacefully. General Raheel Shareef remained cool and calm and played a wise role which saved the country from another Political Crisis. This attitude may have disappointed both  PTI and PAT for not imposing Marshal law or forcing Govt to resign on the charges rigged Election But the sensible role played by Raheel Shareef made it clear for the  Political pundits that  Army cannot be dragged to Political quagmire where the Stains on the Generals imposing marshal law have not been completely removed .

As the case of high Treason Charges against General Pervez Musharraf for November, 03 Emergency is Prejudice before the Apex Court of Pakistan.  The Current General Mr. Shareef has set limitations for the Powerful Institution of Military that they should not be dragged in the Political crisis and the matters should be resolved through dialogue as dialogue is the best method to solve the bottlenecks and differences. At this critical Juncture when the nation’s Armed Forces are at war against the Militants and anti-state elements, Pakistan cannot afford to have a Martial Law.

If We come back to PPP led Government which remained in power  from 2008 to 2013 ,We will find that during PPP led Government , PM  Yusuf raza Gillani was disqualified on the grounds  that he had not written the letter to Swiss Government to initiate legal action against the then President of Pakistan Mr Asif Ali Zardari on the orders of Apex Court , He  lost the PM Slot and was replaced with Raja Pervez Asharf who was called again  by the Supreme Court on the same issue . However, He wrote the letter to Swiss authorities in compliance to Apex Court order.

Despite such unfavorable conditions, the PPP-led government completed its term sustaining serious challenges of law and Order Situation, Militancy and Confrontation on the campaigning of restoration of Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Chaudhry. Even the current PM and his brother CM Punjab was the part of that campaign and expressed their aggression against  Government by reciting the Great Revolutionary Poet  Habib Jalib . Despite all these past odds, PPP supported the Government Specially PM in such tense situations to forge any move against the democracy or chances of its derailment. The Islamabad show may not have been fruitful for the protesting Leaders but it remained  very fruitful for the Public that their Rulers at last considered the voice  a genuine issue and forced the Government against such problems such Electricity and Gas Shortage and Over Billing , Rising Prices and abysmal law and Order  Situation.

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The media remained skeptical about the Long March in August 2014 as it was divided. Some were leftists and some were rightists .But very few were covering the Show impartially. The Media had created the hype to the extent that People started believing that Government’s days are numbered and it will either dissolve the assemblies itself or Military will intervene to impose Martial law as Islamabad was presently a scene of battlefield where Pat and PTI workers were protesting violently and The Capital police was shilling over the Crowd.

But in all this, the political parties whether in coalition or opposition showed utmost maturity and did not play any proactive or anti-Government role and showed confidence in the PM and raised voice against violation of Sanctity of Parliament.

The Charter of demand presented by  Both PAT and PTI was the  same but PAT demanded lodging FIR against PM , CM and IG first where as PTI demanded Resignation of PM to investigate the Rigging 0r vacation for Three Months so that investigation in the Rigging by the Apex Court may be completed without any influence .

If we go through the Electoral System or Framework of Pakistan, It will be observed it helps the partiality than impartiality. First the tenure of government is too long which should be Four years as Proposed by the opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah. Second is the most problematic issue of Induction of interim federal or provincial Governments. The Party which rules for five years, The Same party selects the PM in Federal Govt and CM Provincial with the consultation Opposition leaders in national and Provincial Assemblies. One feels that how the selection of elected Representatives will be impartial since the chance of fixing or partiality cannot be ruled out as the person being nominated may support Either of the party or demand favors or use its office for personal gains.

It will be fine that unlike India, the outgoing Government must hand over the power to Election Commission of Pakistan to hold the Free, fair and transparent election within the stipulated time. This will empower CEC to hold elections without any political influence. He may be provided the required Funds for Printing of the Ballot Papers, Stipends to Polling Staff, Transportation and Shipping Costs and IT support for Consolidated Results at District and Taluka Offices of Revenue. The polling may also be held in Phases for Example in two or three Phases for both Provincial and National level.

The Polling station may be divided into clusters and a cluster in charge may be deputed to collect the results of Polling Stations on the Spot and material without compelling Presiding Officers to Submit the Results before ROs or DROs Mostly Judges. The Employees may be given Postal ballot, E-ballot facility to exercise their Vote. The EVS may be introduced so that Transparency can be insured at all levels.

Electronic Voting System will attract a large number of Youth and Women who avoid casting their vote either Political pressure or Family Restriction such as veiled Environment. With Introduction of EVS, Such families may cast their vote either by a nearby ATM, NADRA Kiosk or Touch enabled Smartphone or Tab at home. ECP only has o develop an APP or Software which gets connected through Internet or Mobile 3G or 4G.

It is irony for us that the Electoral system in Pakistan has not improved despite passage of 66 Years  of Independence .Where as in the world technology has provided a great  Support to democracy by ensuring transparency . We have so far some nominal changes specially introduction of thumb on the ballot papers though it was on the single part of ballot paper raising doubts about the authentication of the Vote, the magnetic Ink. But the NADRA findings are shocking the even the Ink cannot be indicator for fake votes or verified .The SMS system for Voter List .0

Excluding the above  , rest all the system is such as  forms and formats are the same  .The Presiding officer is compelled to write the names 0f the Candidates since the forms are not area specific with the names of candidates contesting in the Elections in the respective Constituency.

For Security of the Ballot papers, it is advised that these should be kept in the Strong room of the Banks so that security of Ballot papers may insure at all levels. Besides, Bank Security personnel. , police may deploy for guarding the ballot papers. The Voter Education may be imparted to the people who are either uneducated or less educated by Organizing Orientation Workshops at the Villages with help of local NGO and Civil administration.

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There should be Returning Officers from Election Commission. Election officer must act as DROs and at Tehseel Levels, ACs or DDOs of Revenue Department may be made as Teasel Returning Officer. They may be assisted by Revenue and District Election Officer Staff for compiling the consolidated vote Position.

Whereas DRO role should be to compile the results of  Tehseels  and announce the Winner and the Runners up . The Staff for polling may be hired locally or deputing the Officers from Banks, revenue, police besides education as well as hiring volunteers from NGOs. Election Debate either face to face in form of Conference or Open Public Debate may be made mandatory for the entire Candidate. The Condition of Graduate will sift the candidates who are uneducated or Less Educated. The Degree of the Candidates may be got verified from boards and Universities prior to launching election Campaigns’. This will enable the real candidates to go for election and fake Degree holders will not be able to make their way to either national or Provincial Assemblies.

The Assets may be verified from CBR, SBP and Excite Revenue and Custom Department so that Tax Evaders or Loan or land Revenue Tax defaulters may not be able to make their way to assemblies.

The District and Tehseel Evaluation Committees should evaluate the Progress of Candidates it they remained as MNA and MPA and forward their Reports to DRO for Scrutiny and Decision on the Basis of his suitability for the Position of MPA or MNA. The Utility Bills copy should be required from candidates to ensure that they are not the defaulters of nay state institution. The Assets of the Candidates may display on polling Station for Scrutiny and Complains may be recorded if received.

The Budget for Campaign may not exceed the 50000 to 10000 so that a Common man can contest Elections. Nomination forms may be given and received without any fee. This will enable the poor segments of the society to contest Election without the condition or obstacle of fee.

Finally , for the Selection of chief Election Commissioner it is necessary that he may  be in the age range of 45 to 55 as Person aged more than 55 ,will not be able to travel and monitor the process since he would be lazy in discharge of duties . As the last CEC Fakhuruddin  was  aged about  86,  which might have affected the pace of his work as Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan .

The Electoral Reforms Committee must have the mandate of all the Political Parties so that their Recommendation may be given due consideration and Weight age and may be implemented in letter and Spirit. So far the Committee has missed the Deadline to create Strategy or Report for Recommendation to reform The Elections.  The Committee must review the Proposed Amendments Draft sent by ECP to the Parliamentary Committee besides including the input from various Opinion leaders, Writers, NGOs, Legal Experts and Ex-Legislators who have expertise in drafting laws for Electoral Process.

Moreover, it is not necessary that CEC should from Judiciary; He may be from Corporate Sector, retired Bureaucrat with Clear Service Record, Development Sector person, A Journalist or a Noted Lawyer.

But he should be free in taking decisions to implement the policies in letter and Spirit. CEC can also be from Police from the Ranks such as IG or from the Ranks of Rangers or Military such as Rtd General or Technocrat or a retired Professor from College or University, A retired Attorney. He may be a retired Chairman of Planning Commission or Bureau of Statistics, Ambassador the Choice is infinite. But the Proposed CEC must have the will to bring change in the Electoral Systems so that ECP may not be criticized Disappointing Results.

The CEC is to be appointment Before 1st December, 2014 as per statement of opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah but before the Selection of Final Candidate a consensus may be developed with all the Stakeholders so that no any party blame PPP and PML-N to have selected a candidate of their choice and did not value the opinion of other Parties. The office of CEC is very important when it comes to the question of holding free, fair and Transparent Elections to transfer the Power to Elected Party with Simple or Thumping majority.

The PML-N may also devised a policy to handle with PTI’s November 30 Protest which is said to be very resistant since Mr. Khan appears to very confident about the D-Chowk Dharna. Let’s see that whether PML-N deals with the Mob peacefully or it turns to be a Battlefield where workers likely scuffle with Police and Other Security Agencies if the Government resorted to Use of force against the Protesters in the Red Zone. The Sensible thing done by the Government so far that they will arrest any Person.

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Analysis

Survey Results Reveal: Young Right-Wing Women Demand Trump Debate

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Introduction

A recent survey conducted by Change Research has revealed that young women with right-wing political views are demanding a debate with former President Donald Trump. The survey was conducted in the United States and included participants from different age groups and political affiliations.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the survey results and analyze the possible reasons for the demand.

Survey Results

The survey included 1,009 participants from across the United States. The participants were divided into different age groups and political affiliations. The survey found that 57% of young women with right-wing political views demanded a debate with Donald Trump. This is in contrast to other groups, where the demand was much lower.

Analysis

The survey results raise several questions about the possible reasons for the demand. One possible reason is that young women with right-wing political views see Donald Trump as a strong leader who can represent their interests. They may also see him as a symbol of the conservative movement and want to hear his views on various issues.

Another possible reason is that young women with right-wing political views are dissatisfied with the current political climate and want to hear from a leader who can bring about change. They may see Donald Trump as someone who can shake up the political establishment and bring about the changes they desire.

The demand for a debate with Donald Trump also has several implications. It shows that young women with right-wing political views are an important demographic that cannot be ignored. It also highlights the need for political leaders to engage with young people and understand their concerns.

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The demand for a debate with Donald Trump can also be compared to other political debates. For example, the demand for a debate with Bernie Sanders was much higher among young people with left-wing political views. This shows that young people across the political spectrum are interested in hearing from political leaders who represent their views.

Conclusion

The survey results show that young women with right-wing political views are demanding a debate with former President Donald Trump. The demand is much higher among this group compared to other groups. The demand raises several questions about the possible reasons and implications. It also highlights the need for political leaders to engage with young people and understand their concerns.

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China

A Tribute to Late Li Keqiang: The Former Premier of China

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Introduction

In a world marked by political upheavals and power struggles, the life and legacy of Li Keqiang, the former Premier of China, stand out as a testament to leadership, vision, and unwavering dedication. This opinion article pays tribute to a man whose name has become synonymous with transformative change and indomitable will. Li Keqiang often referred to as “PM” for his role as the Premier of China, left an indelible mark on the world stage. This piece will delve into his remarkable contributions, his visionary leadership, and the grand state funeral that honoured his memory.

Li Keqiang: A Brief Biography

Li Keqiang, born on July 1, 1955, in Hefei, Anhui Province, China, had a humble beginning. He rose through the ranks of the Communist Party of China and, after years of dedicated service, became the Premier in 2013. His journey from an ordinary Chinese citizen to one of the most influential political figures in the world is a testament to his perseverance and commitment to public service.

Early Life and Education

Li’s early life was marked by modesty and a deep desire for knowledge. He pursued his education diligently and later graduated from Peking University, where he earned a degree in economics. This solid academic foundation would prove crucial in shaping his vision for China’s future.

Li Keqiang’s Contributions

Economic Reforms and Modernization

Li’s tenure as Premier witnessed significant strides in China’s economic growth. His commitment to economic reforms and modernization programs played a pivotal role in lifting millions of Chinese citizens out of poverty. His “Chinese Dream” initiative aimed to make China a more equitable and prosperous nation.

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Li believed that economic development should benefit all segments of society, not just the elite. His policies aimed at reducing income inequality, ensuring equal access to education and healthcare, and creating opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Environmental Stewardship

Under Li Keqiang’s leadership, China took significant steps to address environmental issues. He recognized the importance of sustainability and pushed for initiatives to combat air pollution, promote clean energy, and reduce carbon emissions. His emphasis on environmental protection showcased his commitment to a harmonious society and a better future for the planet.

Global Diplomacy

As China’s Premier, Li played a vital role in shaping the country’s foreign policy. He believed in peaceful coexistence, diplomatic negotiations, and mutual respect among nations. His vision for a globally interconnected world that respected each country’s sovereignty marked a shift in China’s approach to international relations.

The Visionary Leader

Li Keqiang was not merely a statesman; he was a visionary leader who saw China’s potential on the world stage. His vision extended beyond economic growth to encompass a global perspective. He envisioned a China that would lead in innovation, technology, and sustainable development.

State Funeral: A Grand Tribute

Li Keqiang’s passing was a moment of profound sorrow for the Chinese people. To honor his memory, a grand state funeral was held. Dignitaries from across the world attended, paying their respects to a leader who had left an indelible mark on history.

The funeral was a sombre yet majestic event, reflecting the respect and admiration Li commanded. It served as a reminder of the significant contributions he made to his nation and the world.

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Conclusion

In the annals of history, Li Keqiang’s name will forever be etched as a visionary leader and a statesman of unparalleled influence. His contributions to China’s growth, his commitment to environmental stewardship, and his vision for a globally interconnected world continue to inspire. The grand state funeral that honoured his memory was a fitting tribute to a life well lived.

Li Keqiang’s legacy serves as a reminder that true leadership goes beyond politics; it is about leaving the world better than you found it. His journey, from humble beginnings to the highest echelons of power, is a testament to the potential within each of us to make a positive impact on the world. Li Keqiang will always be remembered as a beacon of hope, a symbol of dedication, and a source of inspiration for generations to come.

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Democracy

From Gerontocracy to Youthcracy: The Dilemma of Political Parties in Pakistan

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Introduction

The political landscape of Pakistan is undergoing a profound transformation, marked by a shift from gerontocracy to youthcracy. This article provides an in-depth exploration of this transition, its implications for political parties, and the evolving dynamics of power in the country. In a comprehensive examination, we delve into the challenges and opportunities faced by political parties as they adapt to this rapidly changing political landscape.

Understanding Gerontocracy

Gerontocracy, a term that has been frequently used to characterize the Pakistani political system, describes a situation where the elderly wield considerable power and influence in the governance of a nation. In Pakistan, this phenomenon has prevailed for decades, with senior politicians dominating the political stage. However, as the demographics of the country evolve, with a growing population of young citizens, political parties are confronted with a complex dilemma.

The Emergence of Youthcracy

The Power of the Youth Vote

Pakistan boasts a vibrant and youthful population, with a significant percentage under the age of 30. These young individuals are increasingly becoming politically aware and active, wielding the potential to reshape the nation’s political landscape. The emergence of youth power, often referred to as youthcracy, has become a defining feature of contemporary Pakistani politics.

The power of the youth vote cannot be overstated. The sheer number of young voters makes them a formidable force to be reckoned with. Political parties are beginning to recognize that winning the allegiance of this demographic is no longer an option but a necessity.

Challenges Faced by Political Parties

Balancing Experience and Fresh Perspective

One of the foremost challenges confronting political parties in Pakistan is how to navigate the delicate balance between the seasoned politicians who have long held sway and the energetic yet relatively inexperienced youth. The interplay between experience and fresh perspectives has become a pivotal factor for the success of any political party.

While experienced politicians bring a wealth of knowledge and a deep understanding of the intricacies of governance, they may also be associated with entrenched interests and resistance to change. In contrast, the youth represent innovation, fresh ideas, and a desire for reform. Striking the right equilibrium between these two demographics is crucial for political parties seeking to remain relevant and effective.

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Adapting to Modern Communication

The youth are digitally connected, and their political awakening often happens on social media platforms. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok have become powerful tools for mobilization and advocacy. Political parties must adapt to these changing communication dynamics to engage with the younger generation effectively.

Traditional campaign methods, such as door-to-door canvassing and rallies, are no longer sufficient. Digital campaigns, online debates, and viral content creation have become the norm. Political parties must invest in sophisticated digital strategies, engaging with the youth where they are most active and receptive.

Strategies for Political Parties

Navigating the transition from gerontocracy to youthcracy requires strategic foresight and adaptability. Here are key strategies that political parties can employ to thrive in this evolving political landscape:

Encouraging Youth Participation

To embrace youthcracy, political parties must actively encourage young individuals to participate in politics. This goes beyond tokenism and superficial youth wings within parties. It involves offering substantial leadership roles to young politicians, mentorship programs, and providing platforms for the youth to voice their concerns.

Moreover, political parties should prioritize issues that resonate with the youth, such as education, employment opportunities, and environmental sustainability. Addressing these concerns demonstrates a commitment to the aspirations of the younger generation.

Embracing Technological Advancements

Utilizing technology for outreach, campaigns, and information dissemination is no longer optional‚ÄĒit is imperative. Political parties need to harness the power of data analytics, targeted advertising, and social media engagement to connect with the younger audience effectively.

Digital platforms provide an opportunity for direct interaction with voters, allowing parties to gauge sentiment, address concerns in real time, and tailor their messaging to specific demographics. This digital transformation also extends to fundraising efforts, which can now be conducted online with greater efficiency and transparency.

Promoting Transparency and Accountability

The youth are often more critical of corruption and inefficiency in government. Political parties must prioritize transparency and accountability to gain the trust of this demographic. Implementing robust anti-corruption measures, disclosing sources of funding, and holding party members accountable for misconduct are essential steps.

Furthermore, political parties should adopt a culture of inclusivity, where decisions are made collectively, and policies are developed through open dialogue. This approach not only fosters trust but also ensures that the concerns of diverse segments of the population, including the youth, are considered.

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Conclusion

The transformation from gerontocracy to youthcracy is reshaping the landscape of Pakistani politics. This paradigm shift presents both challenges and opportunities for political parties. Those who successfully adapt to these changes will be better positioned to address the evolving needs and aspirations of the Pakistani population.

As we move forward, the key to political success in Pakistan lies in embracing the demographic realities of the country. The youth are not merely the future; they are the present. Their voices, aspirations, and demands must be at the forefront of political agendas.

In conclusion, the era of youthcracy in Pakistan signals a new dawn in the nation’s political history. It is a testament to the vitality and dynamism of the country’s youth. Political parties that understand this transition and respond proactively will not only survive but thrive in the evolving landscape of Pakistani politics.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is gerontocracy in the context of Pakistani politics? Gerontocracy refers to a political system where older individuals hold significant power and influence in the government.
  2. What is youthcracy, and how is it affecting political parties in Pakistan? Youthcracy represents the growing influence of the younger generation in politics, challenging traditional power dynamics within political parties in Pakistan.
  3. Why is the youth vote important in Pakistani politics? The youth vote is crucial because Pakistan has a significant young population, and their political engagement can shape the country’s future.
  4. How can political parties in Pakistan encourage youth participation? Political parties can encourage youth participation by offering leadership roles, mentorship programs, and creating platforms for young voices.
  5. What role does technology play in the transition to youthcracy? Technology is essential for reaching and engaging with the youth. Political parties need to utilize digital strategies for effective communication.
  6. Why is transparency and accountability important in attracting the youth to vote? The youth often demand transparency and accountability in politics, and parties that prioritize these values are more likely to gain their trust.
  7. What are the benefits of a political party embracing both experience and fresh perspectives? Embracing both experience and fresh perspectives allows a party to draw on the wisdom of seasoned politicians while also tapping into the energy and innovation of the youth.
  8. How can political parties effectively use social media to engage with the youth? Political parties can use social media by creating engaging content, participating in online discussions, and addressing the concerns and issues that matter most to young voters.
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