Saturday March 02, 2024

National Voters Day: Pildat dialogue terms voting a civic duty

By Our Correspondent
December 09, 2022

ISLAMABAD: On National Voters Day in Pakistan, PILDAT dialogue termed voting a civic duty that all eligible citizens must perform on an election day.

PILDAT convened the dialogue with youth, political party representatives, legislators, members of civil society, academia, the media, and the general public to discuss the voting process of the upcoming general elections.

Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, the PILDAT president, chaired a two-panel discussion. While speaking, Fahad Husain, Special Assistant to PM on Public Policy & Strategic Communications, remarked that there is pressure to ensure that the next elections are free, fair and transparent to determine the stability of the nation and the trajectory of the country over the next few years. Before the next elections, he said, a system must be developed and installed in a short amount of time.

Haroon Shinwari, ECP’s Media and Outreach Wing, presented the Election Commission of Pakistan’s perspective on election-related problems and outlined some of the measures ECP was doing to guarantee elections are fair and credible. He said they have spent Rs 47 million on awareness efforts to ensure inclusion, one of the determinants of a legitimate election.

For the 2023 elections, he said there will be a total of one hundred thousand polling stations around the nation, each with four voting booths to accommodate a total of one thousand six hundred voters during the nine-hour voting day. “To prevent election dispute, a real-time results technology has been tested and will be used in the next general election,” he said.

Syed Talat Hussain, a senior journalist, commented on the potential fairness of the 2023 elections. He said voters demand a more streamlined election process, particularly in terms of logistics, to be at peace. “Voting booths should be placed close to each neighbourhood, modernising the electoral process,” he said.