Islamabad, October 17, 2012 (PPI-OT): I am pleased to learn that October 17 has been designated as National Voters’ Day to raise awareness among the people about the importance of casting vote so as to make the elections truly reflect the will of the people.
Better participation of voters in the electoral process is a most effective way to empower them, to hold public representatives accountable and put pressure on them to deliver. I wish to commend the Election Commission of Pakistan for this initiative highlighting the important role of a voter in the democratic process.
The importance of every eligible citizen to be registered as a voter cannot be overemphasized. Not registering as a voter means abandoning the right to vote. The ECP has prepared electoral rolls that link voters’ registration with the National Identity Card (NIC) issued by NADRA. This is a highly commendable move as it will not only ensure maximum registration of voters but also eliminate chances of double or fake registration of voters that have marred past electoral processes.
The ECP has also pressed into service the latest technology to facilitate voters to check their registration status. Now a voter can check whether and where he or she is registered as a voter by just sending a SMS on 8300 and instantly get an answer.
It has kept its offices open every day of the week to facilitate any voter who may wish to vote in a place other than the one where he is currently registered as voter. The citizens and political parties should make full use of these new facilities.
If fair and free elections lie at the root of genuine transfer of power, error free voters lists and maximum participation of the people lie at the root of free and fair polls.
While the ECP is ensuring error free voters lists, it is also the responsibility of the political parties, civil society, media and other stakeholders to ensure maximum participation of the people in the electoral process and to help raise awareness about the importance of voting in the democratic process. Special efforts also need to be made for ensuring maximum participation of the women, minorities, and those suffering form disabilities to participate in the voting process.
On this first National Voters Day while I commend the ECP for its numerous initiatives to achieving the national goal of free and fair polls I also call upon the people to come out and cast their votes—not merely as a matter of personal right but as a national duty.
For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326