Caught in the act?

The News

The ECP’s decision to hold fresh elections in the NA-75 constituency is certainly an unprecedented and bold decision. Events like the controversial 2008 polls and the inordinate delay in the foreign funding case against the PTI had considerably eroded the moral authority and credibility of the ECP.
According to some political observers, it was the Daska event which really pushed the ECP to the wall because of which it had no choice but to take an independent and bold decision to reassert itself. The ECP, in its comprehensive decision, also took to task various government officials who were responsible for making the Daska election a complete farce.
Akbar Jan Marwat
Islamabad
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The PTI-led government’s ‘say no to corruption’ slogan has been badly damaged after the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) declared the NA-75 by-elections null and void in view of massive irregularities.
This incident has badly damaged the image of the sitting government which failed to conduct free and fair elections.
Engr Asim Nawab
Islamabad
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This refers to the articles ‘By-election surprises’ (Feb 28, TNS) by Shehryar Warraich and ‘Daska and beyond’ (Feb 28, TNS) by Hassan Shehzad. The articles concluded that the NA-75 by-election has put a huge question mark on the capacity of the civil administration to hold the upcoming local government elections as well as the general elections in a peaceful manner. One of the articles highlighted a fact that a by-election has been declared void after a long period – in 2015, the results of the by-elections in the PK-95 constituency were dismissed due to absence of women voters. One fails to understand why these developments, which are mostly negative in nature, are occurring regularly – and with impunity – during the tenure of the present PTI-led government. Is the Daska debacle merely attributable to the lack of coordination between the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the local administration in mishandling or mismanaging a sensitive, hyped up, one-on-one electoral contest between the PTI and the PML-N?
Also, for a strong and sustainable democratic framework in the country, it is imperative that all forces join hands to convert the ECP into an independent, strong, assertive and reputable organisation which works fearlessly to forward the nation’s interests. The ECP, in many ways, is our most important organisation. If the ECP manages to deliver in an effective manner, democracy in Pakistan will be strengthened, and Pakistan’s march down the democratic highway will continue unimpeded.

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