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

Vote for Nobody - None of the above Pakistan Elections 2018Elections 2018 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 political 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? Before elections 2013, lawyer Yasmeen Ali wrote to Elections Commissioner of Pakistan to add a None of the Above option in the ballot paper. However, it didn’t happen.

Since ballot paper for Elections 2018 does not have a None of the above option, what you will do if you do not find an eligible candidate in your constituency? The simple answer is: Vote for Nobody.

Some argue that instead of not going out to vote, you can go to the polling station and invalidate the ballot paper by stamping multiple times. However, this may not be taken as your intention for not voting.

The difference between voting for nobody and invalidating the ballot paper is that former shows your intention of not voting, while the later may be taken as a mistake.

Please take a good look at the candidates in your constituency, both for National and Provincial assemblies. Don’t just vote for them because they belong to your favorite party. If you feel not one of them fulfills your criteria, take a stand and vote for nobody.

Happy Elections!!

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