Election, a priority with no alternative

Tuesday, 12 December 2017 03:23 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 79 times

Instead of gradually paving the way for, and removing barriers to, the parliamentary and district council election, new challenges are arising every day, hampering the democratic process.  While the government has almost eight months to make necessary arrangements for the parliamentary and district council election, absence of the chairman of Independent Election Commission (IEC),  flaws in electoral system, government interference and some other challenges have obscured the fate of next election. Moreover, yet another issue about the number of polling centers has recently arisen in the Independent Election Commission. Election commissioners are reportedly at loggerheads over the findings of evaluation of polling centers. 

 

The parliamentary and district council election have been delayed repeatedly under the pretext of electoral reform and problems in election commissions. Taking into account IEC’s performance, the possibility to hold election even on the date lately announced is also very low. Transparency in election is crucial because it should reflect the real will of masses; however, any further delay in the process in the name of transparency is on no account tolerable. The government did not reform the electoral system in three years, so it is not expected to do so in the remaining two years. Reforms need political will than time. If there was political will, the focus would switch from replacement of election officials to the reform of electoral system, which would have already resolved the problem. 

A relatively transparent election is better than no election because it will at least preserve election as the best practice for peaceful transition of power and representation of the will of people. Some people argue that the sitting lawmakers may seek reelection using their power and wealth, solely because of the government’s failure to reform the electoral system which is the only way to prevent it. But unfortunately the government did not prioritize it, and it remains to be a major problem.

The government should, by hook or by crook, conduct election as the only means through which the people can reflect their will. Last but not least, election is a priority which doesn’t have any other alternative solution, and there is no room for more excuses to further delay it.