HRCP raises alarm on ‘systematic sabotage of democratic process’

Saturday, April 6th, 2013 2:35:14 by

LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Saturday expressed serious concerns over systematic attempts to exclude candidates from elections and to sabotage people’s ability to elect candidates of their choice or to hold them to account.

In a statement issued by the HRCP executive council at the conclusion of its meeting on Saturday, the Commission said: “It is manifestly clear now that the latest process of scrutiny of candidates is a witch hunt aimed at harassing and humiliating candidates. It undermines the essence of what democracy entails and shows a complete lack of faith in the people’s right and ability to choose their representatives.

The HRCP said that “where we stand today is in large measure the result of the political governments shying away from acknowledging overt interference in active politics by state institutions who had no business doing that.”

The Commission added that this is why the “process today is subject to manipulation by a number of vested interests of non-representative groups, institutions and bodies.”

“The ‘selection’ of candidates in the last few days also raises other, deeper questions. The completely arbitrary barring of candidates by returning officers at this scale cannot be without instructions and encouragement to take this tack.

The HRCP added that it saw “a clear and systematic sabotage of the democratic process to make the will of the people completely irrelevant.” And that this was a deliberate and planned abuse of the process in a bid to complete Ziaul Haq’s agenda to accommodate extremism into mainstream politics and to thrust theocratic rule down people’s throats.

The rights body called on all political parties and the civil society to vigilantly guard against these latest attempts to “liquidate democracy” in Pakistan and resolutely reject any and all bids to delay elections under any pretext or to introduce unrepresentative rule. It further demanded the Election Commission to intervene and stop the “asymmetric warfare on the electoral process.”

Lahore News Sources -2

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