Symposium frames recommendations to address low voter turnout among youth

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In a Youth Parliament Pakistan organized online symposium titled “Why Young People Don’t Vote in Pakistan” participants held an enlightening dis-cussion on how young people are reluctant to par-ticipate in the electoral processes, especially casting votes in the previous general elections.

The symposium was opened by Ahmed Bilal Me-hboob, President Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development And Transparency (PILDAT) who welcomed the participants and speakers.

He also spoke on the topic of the symposium and the significance of youth voters in Pakistan.

Amna Kausar, Projects Manager PILDAT & Coor-dinator Youth Parliament Pakistan delivered a brief presentation and an overview of the 17th Youth Parliament Pakistan which is in the process of re-ceiving EoIs and selecting 300-900 of the brightest young individuals belonging to 272 National As-sembly constituencies, Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and Overseas Pakistanis.

Bilal Gilani, Executive Director Gallup Pakistan spoke on the topic of Youth Voter Turnout in the General Elections of Pakistan and stressed on the important fact that ¼th of the youth normally cast their votes in Pakistan and not the remaining three-fourth.

He highlighted that young women normally do not cast votes due to numerous factors such as their mobility constraints and household responsibilities.

He further provided an overview of the statistical analysis of youth voter turnout in the past General Elections in Pakistan.

Gilani said that the current eligible youth had wit-nessed the downfall of the country’s economy and the peak of terrorist activities which had made them resilient but still skeptical about the electoral sys-tem.

Nighat Siddique, Additional Director General, Gen-der and Social Inclusion Wing ECP spoke on Young Voters in Electoral Rolls and Initiatives to Improve Youth Voter Turnout and highlighted the voter turn-out and the lack of political participation of youth in Pakistan.

She provided a comprehensive overview of the pilot projects to assess youth voter turnout in KP and how ECP is trying to extend it towards other universities.

She shed light on the research wing which is constantly engaging the youth in training them about the significance of the electoral process in Pakistan.

She said that ECP is trying its best to reach out to the grassroots level community and to encourage their participation in the elections of Pakistan.

She shed light on how ECP has made the electoral process inclusive in Pakistan for people with disabilities, marginalized youth and women.

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