ECP acts promptly

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THE Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has done well by ordering a forensic audit of a video which went viral on social media showing sale and purchase of votes in Lahore’s NA-133 Constituency, where by-elections are slated for December 5.

Returning Officer for NA-133 by-election Basit Ali has written to both the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority and the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) for a forensic audit of the videos to identify the people seen in the clips while police has been asked to identify and initiate legal action against those involved.

Both PPP and PML(N) are levelling allegations against each other while the ruling PTI, which lost the race in the constituency due to rejection of nomination papers of its main and covering candidates, has maintained that the two parties were habitual manipulators and that is why they are running away from the use of EVMs in the general elections.

One hopes the ECP would go deep into the controversy to unmask the culprits as such clips, whether fake or genuine, cast doubts on integrity of the electoral process.

PML (N) has formally approached the Commission levelling allegations of vote buying by the PPP candidate and the party argues it need not resort to vote buying when it has a clear edge in the constituency.

However, the PPP candidates claim the video is a proof that PML (N) has mentally accepted the defeat. Whoever is involved in buying of votes and production/fabrication of the video, has not done any service to democracy or the electoral process.

This unholy game and dirty tactics together with what people saw in Daska pollute minds of the people about the transparency of the electoral exercise and, therefore, the culprits should be meted out exemplary punishment.

The ECP has necessary powers and it should not hesitate to use them to penalize those who try to dent the credibility of the electoral process for petty motives.

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