Electoral Reforms Bill: Strengthening corruption

By: Maemuna Sadaf
The National Assembly in its session on Wednesday passed Electoral Reforms Bill for “free and fair” polls. The Government has announced to amend the Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.
According to the said bill, every citizen will be given right to be a part of a political party, except those in government service and also have right to form party. Hence, anyone who has hurt national interest or looted country can form party and no law will stop him working as a political leader. It also enables Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to scrutinize election expenses within 90 days; failing which election expense submitted by a political party would deem to be correct.
The bill states that any parliamentarian could only be disqualified for a period of five years and ECP will be an independent and autonomous body, will formulate its own law. If this amendment is made, it is defying of decisions made by Supreme Court. Also, if one has been disqualified after being accused of corruption and money laundering can be chairman of any political party. After five years of disqualification, the accused will be qualified for selection of any position. One can think that after five years of disqualification, can a person’s crime of hurting national interest be diminished? There would be nobody to stop him committing the same crime again because he would have no fear of being disqualification for being a political leader.
ECP can allow someone to be a part of political system, who has been disqualified by superior judiciary. ECP also gets additional powers allowing it to summon services any institution to investigate irregularities in assets details. According to this bill, ECP shall prepare an action plan six months before the elections and delimit constituencies after every census.
Citizens who have obtained Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs) from National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) will be automatically enrolled as voters.
Electoral reform bill will enable former prime minister to be elected as chairman of any political party. This bill is aimed to defy superior judiciary as well as to further strengthen hold of one family onto hapless people of this country. Moreover the bill will lead to compound the web of corruption further in to CHOAS and Mafia.
In Pakistan, most of the people are living in a state of mind called “Obsession central”. This means they are following people, not ideology. Most of the political parties are running on names of persons rather than ideology. This state of mind can easily be observed in the results of NA 120 by election and political situations of the country from a couple of months.
From the first day of the verdict of Panama Case, most of the senators and members of National Assembly are continuously saying that Nawaz Sharif is still Prime Minister of hearts. Now this bill is moved to restore his chairmanship of PML (N) and ultimately making a pavement to senate and National Assembly. They are trying to redo the said decision of disqualification through amendments in constitution even after the crime of money laundering and keeping off shore companies has been confirmed. Supreme Court took two months for the said verdict and there is no ambiguity in it.
In other words, this bill is presented by present Government just to restore position of ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who has been disqualified after long judicial process. He has been accused of having offshore companies and assets for which he was unable to give any record. Parliament has approved bill for corrupt people to rule the country saving them from Judiciary as well.

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