Challenges In Conducting A Free And Fair Elections In Pakistan
To conduct a free and fair elections in Pakistan, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should first sought out all the major challenges that it faces while conducting a plebiscite in the country. Below are some of the challenges that ECP should addressed before conducting the next General Elections in 2023.
1 Feudalistic Influence
Most of the political leaders and election contesters are feudal and landlords of their areas. They either have spiritual or feudalistic influence over the people who cannot vote to another person. In this way the state gets most famous, not the most competent leaders.
2 Use Of Monetary Power
Another challenge in conducting a free and fair elections is the use of money as a tool to get more votes and to win elections. This is one of the major challenges of all third world countries. Under this practice, contesters either purchased votes of people by offering them money in secrecy or offer them some other financial benefits.
3 Proxy Votes
Sometimes the number of votes cast in a polling station exceeded the number of registered votes. This is because of the practice of proxy voting. Under the practice of proxy votes casting, the general workers of political factions cast votes by the use of National Identity Card of deceased people.
4 Practice Of Pre-poll Vote Casting
Another malpractice in plebiscite, which is very similar to proxy vote casting, is the practice of pre-poll vote casting. In this method people increases the number of their votes by polling votes in the ballot box without any registration.
5 Outdated Election System
Another challenge in conducting a free and fair elections in Pakistan is the use of an outdated practice and system for casting votes by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). There are many loopholes in this system which is why, after every elections political parties and election contesters have some objection and reservations regarding the elections.
6 Incompetent Polling Staff
The incompetence of polling staff is another major hurdle in conducting a free and fair elections in Pakistan. Most of the times polling staff do not have requisite knowledge about the management of polling stations. This results in raising various speculations about the elections result by the political factions.
7 Result Manipulations
It is history that after every election in Pakistan, those political factions who lose elections blames ECP and polling staff for result manipulation. It is due to this reason political leader either does not accept the results of elections at all or even if they accept it they still have some reservations.
8 Arrests of Political Workers
Another very famous malpractice is the indirect order of the arrests of political workers of other factions near the election days. This practice, which affects election campaign and the results of elections to some extent, is very common in the election system of Pakistan. This practice is usually applied by the political party which is in government.
9 Change Of Polling Station of Voters
The changing of polling station of voters near the Election Day and the allotment of such polling stations to them which are usually at a very long distance from voters’ residence is another major problem with the election system of Pakistan. This not only results in low turnout but it also affects election results for some contesters.
10 Personal Interests
And last but not the least, voters usually favor their personal interest over the national interests. They give vote to that contester who they think will favor their interests after winning the elections. Thus most of the time those contesters reached the parliament of Pakistan, who may be very famous but not very competent.