Electoral reforms: SC seeks govt input on mandatory voting


    While hearing the Awami Workers Party’s petition on electoral reforms, the Supreme Court on Wednesday suggested that the government should consider making voting compulsory in the upcoming elections.


  • What do you think and what other reforms would you suggest?

  • ISLAMABAD: Believe it or not, convicts, mentally deranged persons and government servants can still contest election to the office of the president without fear of being disqualified.

    The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) amended the rule governing the presidential election on Sept 10, 2007, to take away the provision for disqualification of presidential candidates — less than a month before the polls comfortably won by the then military ruler, Gen Pervez Musharraf. Key opposition leaders Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif were in exile in the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia respectively.

    The amendment in the presidential election rules, which is still in force, was kept a guarded secret by the ECP until it was disclosed by the then minister for parliamentary affairs, Dr Sher Afgan.


  • Zia M saheb: I also read in "Dawn" this morning. I cannot dig as to what was the motive behind this clandestinely amendment in Election rules 2007 when ex. Pres. Musharraf was in the President house and there was no sign of his exiting in days ahead. More surprisingly this rule is still in force although Justice (Rtd.) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim is Chief Election Commisioner.

    This Election rule is total in violation of general principle of eligibility provided in the Election clauses laid down in the Constitution of Pakistan. I think a clarification from CEC is required on this published news (or leak).

  • I think this is great, voting should be made mandatory for all voters like Australia etc.

    We should move towards electronic voting where computer systems can track if a person voted or not and punish them accordingly such as restrict certain social benefits i.e. BISP cheques etc.

  • imtiazahmed Sb,

    I too was puzzled as to why such a clause existed, but I think Musharraf was still in uniform, (government servant) and also wanted to contest the elections therefore it served his purpose.

  • @QN,

    I agree with you.It is mostly the educated and middle class Pakistanis who do not vote and complain the most about democracy.There should be some sort of financial penalty and the money should go to create a fund which should provide financing for candidates with limited resources for their election campaigns.

    I also think that government should provide transportation for those voters who need it, so that, they don't have to be under any obligation of the candidates.

  • Pakistan Government, based on the current constitution, cannot force people to vote as long as choice is lesser of two evils.

    No one has a right to force anyone to support evil.

  • The constitution can be amended.CJ is not going to rule on his own.

  • ISLAMABAD: A fine of Rs100,000 and/or imprisonment of three to five years will be imposed on anyone who is found casting a fake vote in the upcoming general elections, stated a new bill drafted by the Election Commission of Pakistan on corrupt practices...

    (The Express Tribune)

  • Sorry my Friends

    some of you might be very intelligent and knowledgeable people than I'm. But what I understand, you don't, and you can't. It's just because you perhaps read a lot to get knowledge only, whereby I know how to be into the minds of world politicians. So call me a Supperman, if it pleases you.

    Najam Sethi got his Chiria, and I got my eagle who flies much faster and got better sense of direction. My Eagle just brought information that there will be no election for long time. Just chill out just as I do.

    You may think what you like, but I do not associate to any criminal mafia.

  • Mandatory voting won't help PPP or PMLN - the two main stream parties that need to amend constitution to make it happen. So it's a non-starter in my view.

    @QN Saab

    Besides, Pakistan is not social welfare state, not everyne is accepting govt benefits based on which voting can be mandated. As far as BISP or laptop recepients are concerned don't worry PPP and PMLN wil bring them to polls. PTI won't get much benefit if BSIP or Laptop voters are forced to vote.


  • Khan Sb,

    The elections may be delayed, but even the army can't solve our problems and the Generals know it, they are not that stupid.US needs a safe exit of its forces from Afghanistan and will try to have a friendly and stable regime in Pakistan.

  • Shirazi Sb.

    If you look at the list of countries with mandatory voting, most of them are south American i.e. Brazil, Argentina, Peru etc. These countries somewhat share their political history with Pakistan. They enforced mandatory voting to strengthen democracy and they have been quite successful.

    And there are other ways of enforcing this law such as restricting gov't issued ID card, Passport etc.

  • Qaiser Nadeem

    Madatory voting is a very good approach, but our interior of Pakistan is not that developed yet to follow all this. I think the majority of Pakistanis in Pakistan are quite eager to cast their vote willingly. The only problem is that the majority of voters have no trust in politicians any more. I spoke to quite a few people in Pakistan in my last visit to Pakistan who showed a real anger towards their leaders. All you hear them saying is "they are all the same, so there is no point to vote." Only PTI's voters showed a great willingness to cast their vote if it ever needed.

    So, it's not that easily solved issue. I think so.

  • For those people, who are proponents of mandatory voting, if they can answer me the following questions:

    1. What do you propose should be penalty for not voting?

    2. Most of Pakistanis live on daily wages. Only if they earn that day, they can provide food for their family. On the voting day, do you propose that they spend their day/money to go to the polling station, stand in line to vote and forego their earning for that day?

    3. Based on choices available in Pakistan, it is to vote lesser of two evil. Why the voters should be forced to pick evil against their belief system?