Weeding Out Electoral Corruption
Pakistan needs electoral reforms in a hurry. All political parties must come together to carve out a workable future path for the country.
Why have all the three main political parties in Pakistan failed to govern the country justly, efficiently and successfully? The answer lies in what Gen. Douglas MacArthur once stated, “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline.”
The recent example of the extent of corruption prevalent in our domestic politics is the last Senate elections where votes were sold to the highest bidder in crass violation of the democratic norms of loyalty to one’s party. It is obvious that in the Pakistani society, men with tons of illegal money will continue to rule the roost and those who believe in morality will be doomed. As such, those elected through open bidding will ask not what they can do for the country but what the country can do for them. Naturally, under such conditions, the country will always be governed by corrupt persons through immoral means behind a façade of democratic governance.
Unless strict measures to control fraud, corruption and unfair practices in elections are not taken, just, efficient and successful governance can never be ensured. It is essential that citizens at large, whether they have supported winning or losing parties and candidates, should have faith in the integrity of the process. Serious electoral fraud, corruption, and unfair practices bring the reliability of the electoral process into question. It is important to ensure that the fairness of elections is beyond reasonable doubt. Unfortunately, in Pakistan, the losers in elections have never accepted the results. The only way out of this bewilderment seems to be election reforms before the next elections The reforms must ensure a transparent election process and honestly and accurately prepare results that are acceptable to all the contesting parties so that the loser does not blame the army or the establishment for ‘engineering’ the election results.