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ISLAMABAD: A vast majority of people in Pakistan, 88 per cent, want electoral reforms in the country to get a clean political leadership, according to a survey.
Fifty-six per cent believe that elections should take place on time along with changes in the electoral system whereas 32 percent want polls only after the electoral reforms were introduced.
According to a Gilani Research Foundation Survey carried out by Gallup Pakistan, there has not been even a single voice amongst the people surveyed opposing the electoral reforms as the remaining 12 percent did not give their view.
This nationally representative sample of men and women from across the four provinces was asked to give their opinion on: “Some people think that the electoral system in Pakistan is really bad, no good political leaders come from it therefore there should be no elections until the system changes whereas others believe that election should be on time and the system changed gradually.”
When theye were asked to comment, 32 percent said the electoral system should be changed first and then elections should take place while 56 per cent believe that elections should be held on time along with changes in electoral system.
However, 12 percent did not give their views.
According to Gallup Pakistan, the survey was carried out among a sample of 2,642 men and women in rural and urban areas of all the four provinces of the country, during January 6 to 11.
Interestingly, this latest Gallup survey endorses the post Allama Tahirul Qadri-led long march discussion for carrying out the much-required electoral reforms to ensure that cheaters, fraudsters, fake degree holders, bank loan defaulters, tax evaders, tax law violators, etc, are barred from contesting the upcoming polls.
Although, the leading political parties have yet to commit that they would welcome a detailed scrutiny whereby corrupt could be barred from taking part in elections, the accord signed between Qadri and government envisages giving the Election Commission of Pakistan one month time for scrutiny of nomination papers for the purpose of pre-clearance of candidates under articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.
The Constitution bars a person from contesting polls if he or she has obtained a loan of 2m rupees or more from any bank, etc, in his own name or in the name of his spouse or any of his dependents which remains unpaid for more than one year from the due date, or has got such a loan written off; and if he or his spouse or any of his dependents has defaulted in payment of government dues and utility expenses, including telephone, electricity, gas and water charges in excess of 10,000 rupees, for over six months, at the time of filing his nomination paper.
In addition to this, the Constitution has also set conditions for parliamentarians to be of good character; should not be commonly known as one who violates the Islamic injunctions; should be sagacious, righteous, non-profligate, honest and ameen; should have adequate knowledge of Islamic teachings and practices obligatory duties prescribed by Islam as well as abstains from major sins.