Pakistan Elections on May 11: Please pray

The second of two posts for May 11 because of urgent prayer needs and joining hands with others in prayer on this day.

The people of Pakistan have shown great resilience to sustain their democracy during the last 65 years by ejecting at least four governments in uniform which constitute more than 30 years of rule and frustrating many more conspiracies against their right to be governed democratically, while most of the efforts in the past had been to reclaim democratic space. In 2013 the nation will go to polling booths to endorse or reject political parties on the basis of their performance after completion of a full fledge term of five years by a democratically elected government.

In this regard the framework for an independent Election Commission has been improved through the 18th, 19th and 20th constitutional amendments. The incumbent Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) enjoys institutional powers under the umbrella of the Constitution and has been constituted through a parliamentary committee with consensus.

Moreover, Pakistan signed International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on 17th April 2008 and ratified it on 23rd June 2010 with certain reservations. Many of these reservations have been withdrawn on 20th September 2011. The Election 2013 will be the first after ratification of the ICCPR.

The Supreme Court of Pakistan and various High Courts while entertaining several constitutional petitions pertaining to the quality of electoral rolls, re-verification of voters in Karachi, registration of eunuchs as voters, right of vote for expatriate Pakistanis, issues related to dual nationality holders, fake degrees of the legislators, election expenses, and delimitations of constituencies in Karachi etc. have judicialized the process of long awaited electoral reforms.

In the back drop of all these new development and a continued war against terrorism, Talabnisation, extremism and radicalization, the nation will be going to the pools in May 2013, genuinely expecting that democracy must deliver good governance to bring them out of the quagmire of problems. Therefore, the first ever civilian transition without the mentoring and monitoring of powers that be in 2013 is a citizens’ chance to vote-out or vote-in their representatives through free, fair and transparent elections. In this way Election-2013 will be of significant importance and have long term consequences for democratic consolidation in Pakistan.

From Pakistan Prayer Network.

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