The victory game

This refers to the editorial, ‘The victory game’ (July 25). While the Judicial Commission concluded that the 2013 general elections were by and large fair and transparent it cannot be said that rigging did not take place at all, particularly in Karachi and rural areas.

In Karachi, rigging may or may not have been on a big enough scale to affect the overall result (this is debatable) but one can say with confidence that in rural areas, this was not the case. With most voters being highly illiterate, it would not have been very difficult to buy their votes or compel them to vote for the winning party in other ways. Therefore, the only way to prevent rigging is to empower the ECP by increasing the number of its employees. Why do we have elections to the National Assembly and provincial assemblies on the same day? The best thing would be if elections are held over a period of four days and the results not announced until all votes have been counted and verified. Another reform that is needed is to have elections to the four provincial assemblies two years after the National Assembly elections – but it would be too much to expect from the present lot in parliament to agree to this.

Shakir Lakhani
Printed in The News, July 28, 2015