Vote for Nobody: Ballot Paper in Pakistan should have None of the Above option

Vote for Nobody - None of the aboveElections 2013 is just around the corner and its the same story as before. The political parties of Pakistan are putting up same faces, the so-called electables who won their seats on the basis of family background, wealth, or party backing. However, they deliver nothing on ground, leaving the voters deprived and cheated.

Even PTI has fieleded many electables who have jumped ship from other politcal parties.

So why vote for the same old faces again? Why try again those who have been tested and failed so many times in the past?

In India, there is a section 49-O in the constitution (as per the 1969 act) which allows a voter to declare to the presiding election officer that he / she does not want to vote for anyone. If the 49-O votes in a constituency are greater than the number of votes taken by the winner, the polling will be cancelled. Not only that, but the candidature of the contestants will be removed and they cannot contest the re-polling, since people had already expressed their lack of trust for them.

If this can happen in India, why not in Pakistan?

Lawyer Yasmeen Ali sent a letter to Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan requesting a “None of the Above” option in the ballot paper.

Her reasoning is very valid and should be taken seriously.

The letter was originally published at her website.

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Honourable Justice (Retd.) Mr. Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim

Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan

Your Honor,

As a concerned Pakistani citizen,also a lawyer by profession I feel, our ballot paper do not allow the masses to exercise the right to vote in its true spirit.We see the same ‘electable’ the same faces,the same names. Time has refused to weed out such elements.

I therefore suggest, addition of another icon/slot to choose by voters. It should be:NONE OF THE ABOVE. A straight 50% of votes caste on NONE OF THE ABOVE option, should disqualify contestants from that particular constituency for 10 years, confiscate their security,parties must put up new candidates for the constituency,elections to be held on another date with new candidates.

I believe, employing this codicil will go a long way in choosing representatives, in the spirit of the Constitution.

Regards

Yasmeen Ali
Attorney-at-law
Lahore.


About Kashif Aziz

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