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Response to Rigging Article

Just received this article. Going to comment on each point logically. My comments will be separated by two rows of *****

{
"ACCUSING the PML-N, caretakers, the Election Commission and judiciary of unprecedented rigging against it in 2013, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) is threatening a long march. Other parties have also complained of rigging though are not threatening drastic action. So, were these elections rigged?

Since politicians often employ hyperbole, one must review the reports of neutral election observers — the EU, the US-based National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Pakistan-based Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen). While all three identified pre- and election-day flaws, none questioned overall electoral credibility."
}

*************Answer to Quoted Text*******************
None of them were given the mandate to comment on credibility of elections but rather the procedural requirements needed to be fulfilled so if the author is admitting that all 3 identified pre and election day flaws thats where their role began and thats there it ends. Mind you in this modern age of IT no one dares to do rigging blatantly rather its done discretely and systematically using the loop holes in the system so this argument to declare elections to be fair stands null and void
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{
"The EU and NDI, having monitored Pakistani elections for decades, actually termed overall election processes significantly improved. None reported systematic rigging against the PTI. The EU and NDI did report that the PPP and Awami National Party were not allowed by the TTP to campaign freely in KP. This ironically benefited the PTI. Thus, inferences from neutral reviews actually paint the PTI as an indirect beneficiary rather than victim of electoral flaws."
}

*************Answer to Quoted Text*******************
Factual discrepancy: This argument is as valid as the campaign of PML-N that PTI is B team of PPP. Actually all the parties who could not run their campaigns under the threat of terrorism were harmed and every other party was benefited be it PTI or PML-N or JUI(F) etc. Once again such bodies never report rigging directly. They simply hint at procedural mistakes and flaws in the system which they excessively did.
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{
"Data from a Fafen review of post-election complaint-handling also undermines rigging charges. Out of 410 complaints lodged with the ECP, 301 stood decided by May 31, 2014. While over 100 complaints are pending, election tribunals are not delaying PTI complaints only. If 21 of PTI’s 58 total complaints are still pending, so are 28 of PML-N’s 66. The PTI had zero success rate to-date in its 37 decided complaints; the PML-N only had four successes in 38 decided complaints. Tribunals have de-seated two PTI but also nine PML-N winners to-date. There appears to be little evidence that the tribunals are biased."
}

*************Answer to Quoted Text*******************
Major problem is not with whether tribunals are biased or no. Major problem is the procedure and the system of these tribunals and the delay they cause in results. 
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{
"Rigging evidence should be submitted to the courts.
Even if the PTI miraculously wins all of its remaining complaints, it would not gain power in Punjab or nationally. Even if the PML-N loses all complaints pending against it, it will retain power in both places. So, the alleged rigging has not tipped things decisively. There is a wide gap between PTI’s massive rigging rhetoric and available evidence. Such limited rigging provides no justification for launching long marches which could topple democracy."
}

*************Answer to Quoted Text*******************
Sorry to say a very lame argument from a person of caliber of a Doctor. Even if rigging occurred on only one seat of PML-N, it must be reported, identified, the responsible fixed and system improved for future. I will come to the justifications and reasons for long march in my last argument.
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{
"Even if democracy survives and the PTI forces early elections, there is no guarantee that it will win. Even if it wins, it may reintroduce ruinous 1990s-type politics as the PML-N may then attempt to topple the PTI early. Despite all its faults, the PML-N respected the PTI’s 2013 KP mandate even though it could have cobbled a majority there. The PTI must reciprocate graciously or risk undermining the good things it is planning in KP governance-wise."
}

*************Answer to Quoted Text*******************
a. We do not want win of PTI or PML-N or any party for that matter
b. We want fair, transparent and free elections which can be challenged and verified by anybody at any time. Such a system should be in place
c. If PML-N had guts, they could accept the most troubled province of Pakistan KPK. Fact is that they avoided direct responsibility in all provinces except Punjab. Its a coward approach and actually harmful for federation.
d. You can not ignore killing of someone by saying "mitti pao", lets don't punish those who killed otherwise they might kill more. You actually need to punish the killers and then ensure that it does not happen again! What kind of twisted logic is being presented in this article?
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{
"If the party has strong rigging evidence, it should submit it to the courts. If it feels that they are biased against it, before taking drastic measures like quitting assemblies and invading Islamabad, it should convince neutral civil society elements, eg bar associations, human rights groups, media, and other major opposition parties about its stand. It should not appear as judge, jury and executioner all alone."
}

*************Answer to Quoted Text*******************
They have submitted everything to courts, media, civil society and the writer seems to be living in a world of his own to not know what ACTUALLY is opinion of all the groups mention by this gentleman. The party is not appearing as Judge, Jury and Executioner all alone. In fact they have been disappointed badly by Judge, Jury and Executioner all alone. I will explain in the last comment HOW
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{
"Democracies allow legitimate protest. But, not even advanced democracies allow protest by people (like Qadri) planning overtly to topple elected governments unconstitutionally. PTI promises legal protests only for achieving poll reforms. But it hints of a premature end to PML-N rule. Such premature end, genuine reforms and constitutionalism are not all possible together given the enormity of required electoral reforms."
}

*************Answer to Quoted Text*******************
Democracies allow peaceful PROTEST my friend. Nowhere in constitution is written the word legitimate or otherwise else no government will ever allow any kind of protest declaring it to be NOT legitimate. If your legal rights and due demands are not heard then it is government which is to be blamed for outcomes not opposition. Who decides whether protests are legitimate or no? Public opinion. If government is delivering, keeping up its election promises all such protests die down at their own. If however things are fishy at the end of government itself, they die. It is natural in democracies. In fact the right to protest for any reason is given precisely to cater for possibility of armed and bloody struggle otherwise. Winning an election does not give any government a license to kill for 5 years. They still have to listen to public and opposition!
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These include rules and mechanisms for time-barred disqualification of convicts and government defaulters; better mechanisms for appointing ECP members, interim governments and returning officers; constituency delimitation and voter list re-verification based on a new census, and stronger election day processes like electronic voter identification and voting and associated voter education etc. Poll reforms need two to three years to complete.

The PTI can only have any two of the three outcomes mentioned above together. If it chooses the early end of PML-N rule and constitutionalism, reforms are not possible since elections will become due in three months under a PML-PPP-appointed interim government. Secondly, if it chooses an early end to PML-N rule and reforms, it would mean an unconstitutional interim government institutes reforms over two to three years. Finally, it could choose reforms and constitutionalism by foregoing an early end of PML-N rule and pressuring it together with other political and civic groups to institute reforms over the next four years.

This is the sensible choice that genuine democrats should select. The PTI must publicly announce its commitment to assemblies completing their terms. This will help it gain the support of numerous political and civic groups currently wary of its intentions. Even if initially reluctant, the PML-N will be unable to resist their combined reform demands coupled with judicial pressure.

************************ Last Comment *********************
Everything else is similar kind of rhetoric of if, then, this, that, else and so on. I will now summarize the situation with simple and proven facts + figures.

1. 114 returning officers have not yet made form XIV (A primary document) public even after 14 months of elections without which result of any constituency can not be declared.

2. Magnetic ink was part of the most important rules of Elections 2013. It was NOT used and it was NOT informed or announced until PTI requested for thumb verification. This is a clear case of possible ill intentions.

3. A total of 93 constituencies were changed just days before elections, why?

4. If everything is fair, transparent and free, why so much reluctance in opening four constituencies? Why can't PML-N give proof of its maturity, experience and commitment to democracy by opening these constituencies and allow their thumb verification for the sake of democracy?

5. Last but not the least, no matter how stringent rules and criteria you make, if the offenders of a law know that they will never be questioned or caught later on, no rule, no system and no law can stop the rigging. So for above mentioned anomalies the responsible must be punished. I am not concerned about whether demands of PTI are right or wrong. But I see them as an opportunity to expose the flaws in the system, punish the culprits and block the passage of future violations of law!

Source Article: http://www.dawn.com/news/1117319/unfair-polls

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