By-Election in NA 246 – A Test Case for the ECP


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April 06; In view of the disturbing news of violence emanating from the pre-election process in NA-246 (Karachi-VIII), PILDAT has demanded that the Chief Election Commissioner and the Election Commission of Pakistan need to ensure a violence-free, credible, transparent and fair election.

“This is the first major by-election to be conducted by the ECP after the appointment of the new Chief Election Commissioner and the Secretary ECP. It is, therefore, a test case of their as well as the ECP’s capacities and their ability to effectively utilise the powers of the ECP in conducting a free and fair election,” said a PILDAT statement.

If the Provincial Government or the security agencies are not cooperating with the ECP to ensure a violence-free election, it is the responsibility of the ECP to use its powers to act decisively.

The public confidence in the effectiveness of the ECP is at a record low as an overwhelming majority of Pakistanis, 85%, believe that it is critical that the Election Commission of Pakistan’s functions need to be reformed and reconfigured.1 If the ECP, under its new leadership, does not display an effective control and conduct of election in NA-246 (Karachi VIII), it will become very difficult to win public confidence in the ability of the ECP to ensure a free, fair and credible General Election in 2018, believes PILDAT.

1. For details please see
PILDAT Report on Public Opinion Poll on Quality of Democracy in Pakistan: August 2014