It’s time to introduce NOTA in Pakistan

With over fifteen thousand, mostly old candidates, filed nominations to contest in the upcoming elections and prevailing political culture in which the political parties are being run in somewhat a “tribal manner” the earnest desire for NOTA option has started remerging among the voters.

A sample ballot paper in India

“None of the above”, or NOTA for short, also known as “against all” or a “scratch” vote, is a ballot option, designed to allow the voters to disapprove all of the candidates in any election. It is based on the principle of withholding consent in an election by voting “No” on ballot questions.

Owing to the unpopular policies of the mainstream political parties and dubious reputations of political leaders for a number of reasons including dual nationality, loans write off, switching sides, a renewed debate has started building around the idea of NOTA just one and half month before the elections months.

Inclusion of NOTA  would lead to a better participation and the parties would also nominate better people to contest, Ishaq added. It would even pull those voters to the polling stations who hate to vote for the contesting candidates, he further argued.

Gohar Ali, belonging to an urban constituency, told The News, that almost all potential winning candidates for his home National and provincial assembly constituencies were the turncoats and he did not want vote for any of them. I want to vote against all of them, but I have no ballot option for the purpose, he lamented.

 

The story first published in the The News.

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