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The vicious nexus between electoral fraud, poor governance and povertyATN News

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Electoral irregularities, insecurity, lack of employment opportunities for the youth, poverty and lack of political awareness are some of the critical issues that challenge the existence of a constitutional democracy like Pakistan. Almost throughout the country’s history, electoral fraud has been a major factor hindering the process of affirming democratic values ​​in this country. Political elites are the main perpetrators of electoral fraud designed to impose themselves as the representatives and leaders of people who, in fact, did not vote for them, candidates who are generally hated and whom they cannot win.

The same class of self-imposed representatives inflicts the pains of poverty, insecurity, and bad governance, which in turn poses a major threat to the peace, prosperity and progress of Pakistan. This type of politician lacks a clear political ideology and is often seen trading basic moral, socio-economic and political values ​​to protect their personal gains.

Of course, democracy is a wonderful concept anchored in certain values ​​that political parties present to voters. However, Pakistan is far from being a democracy because the democracy practiced here is all about winning elections.

In countries like Pakistan where voters are attracted by the names of politicians and political parties rather than political ideology, electoral fraud starts at the beginning of the process i.e. selecting party candidates. Rivals of party cadres are paid huge sums of money to get party tickets. Such a process typically projects credible candidates who lack the financial resources to match their political opponents.

Political actors/candidates who are generally unpopular but financially sound also spend huge amounts of money during election campaigns because they want to win the election at any cost. Such candidates have been accused of supporting criminals, importing arms and ammunition, training youths and helping them fulfill their selfish and selfish political ambitions. This has resulted in high levels of insecurity and increased crime in our society today.

After winning the elections, the only agenda of these types of politicians is to engage in election malpractices, get back their investment with compound interest and save something for the next elections. Election expenses are usually recovered through kick-backs for commissions and constituency development schemes. This phenomenon is well reflected in the book “So Much Aid, So Little Development: Stories from Pakistan” by Samia Altaf.

The use of development program funds for elections (directly or indirectly) aggravates the suffering of people who continue to live in extreme poverty, hunger, illiteracy and lack of health and other essential amenities of life. It is estimated that half of Pakistan’s population lives below the poverty line.

Similarly, insecurity cannot be effectively managed or controlled without integrating the youth in socio-economic and developmental issues. But the electoral fraudsters are ruining the lives of most of the talented youth of the country by resorting to criminal activities to achieve their selfish and anti-democratic maneuvers and criminal activities.

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