Zardari demands electoral reforms ahead of next general polls

Source:  Samaa Published in Current Affairs on Saturday, May 13, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Welcoming the Jamat-i-Islami initiative to hold an All Parties Conference on election reforms former President Asif Ali Zardari today called for consensus election reforms ahead of next general elections to make the exercise of power transfer credible.

He said this during a meeting with the Amir Jamaat Islami Senator Sirajul Haq when the latter called on him Friday afternoon at Zardari House in Islamabad and invited the PPP to the JI conference to be held in Mansoora, Lahore.

Former Interior Minister and senior PPP leader Senator Rehman Malik and JI leaders Mian Muhammad Aslam and Asif Luqman Qazi were also present in the meeting.

While talking about election reforms the two leaders also discussed the current political situation in the country.

“Manipulated power transfer lies at the root of political instability in the country,” Zardari said emphasizing that the elections “would serve no purpose without consensus electoral reforms ahead of the elections”.

He opined that the reformed election laws must also provide for punishment to Returning Officers involved in election rigging, a mechanism for arriving at consensus in the setting ups of care taker governments at the federal and provincial levels and right to vote to overseas Pakistanis.

He said innumerable instances had been reported pointing towards the involvement of election officers in the electoral malpractices and fraud but there was no institutional mechanism to punish them.

Zardari said that the PPP had conducted research on electoral rigging in some constituencies in the Punjab which it was ready to share with all parties.

He said that the Party had accepted the results of 2013 general elections despite its serious reservations only for the sake of continuity of democracy. –SAMAA