The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will aim to set a precedent by holding free and fair polls in the upcoming elections, said Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim while speaking to the media in Karachi on Thursday.
“We want to set [this] precedent … so that no one can point a finger at us. We will try to redress all the grievances expressed by different stakeholders in terms of discrepancy found in electoral rolls,” Ebrahim said. He added that the upcoming polls would be a “test case,” and, if fair polls were held, they would bring a drastic change in the lives of the people of Pakistan.
The CEC said that the election commission’s first priority was to finalise transparent electoral rolls, which, he hoped, would be released by July 31. He went on to add that all ECP officials had been directed to follow the rules and avoid developing contacts with any political person or party, as it would dent hopes of a transparent election.
The chief election commissioner said that they would hold a detailed meeting on July 31 in Islamabad before publishing the electoral rolls.
“I am a retired judge not a bureaucrat, therefore, I wondered how I would manage this important position; but after holding a meeting with ECP officials, I have come to the conclusion that I have a talented team with me,” he added.
Earlier, Provincial Election Commissioner Sono Khan Baloch briefed the CEC about the preparation of electoral rolls, by-elections and various Supreme Court cases involving the ECP. Baloch also informed the CEC about how the election commission had rectified the registration of 0.2 million voters of Sindh, who were earlier, erroneously registered in Balochistan and other areas.
“Not only Balochistan, but also some people living in Karachi, over the years had complained that their votes were registered in rural areas.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2012.