Exposing election rigging is a tough job. as the onus of proof generally lies on the accuser, hence usually very tough to prove, at times opposing parties may even try to set each other up simply to humiliate them and pull a few extra votes in the process, everything seems to be fair in our elections. I on the other hand believe if we hear of any such report, it must be shared with everyone opening the argument to a larger audience, allow the case at hand be scrutinized in the hope that it can be verified or refuted when exposed to a larger reader base, little good will it do lying in my email box, since I cannot physically head out to confirm.
Since yesterday a number of reports have slowly trickled in saying that postal workers specifically in the Gulberg, Lahore going from door to door asking people for their National ID cards in exchange for Rs.1,500 ($25). This story might not be too far fetched, as every person is feeling the economic pressure and any spare change offered by filthy rich candidates does help the poor survive in this crushing economy. I quote an email verbatim, which I has already been forwarded to a number or monitoring agencies in the hope of getting some form of verifications,
AA from Lahore: I would like to share some vote rigging info. In Gulberg area Lahore, the postmen are going around giving Rs.1500/house on behalf of the ruling party and in return they want a copy of N.I.C as verification that they have paid the money.
Question 1. Who is funding this and can private individuals use the post office to buy votes, or is the govt. money being spent to buy votes.
Question 2 . what are they going to do with photocopies of N.I.C
This is perhaps the most clear case of vote rigging and it should be highlighted in the press and to the election commission.
Immediately following this email another one stumbles in saying
Z wrote: I can verify that this in fact is happening! They are especially going around to the ‘bastis‘ [temp housing for the poor] in Gulberg and targeting specific houses there, playing on the needs of the poor
But what really urged me to open this up on my blog was when an activist of the Peoples Resistance came forth with roughly the same story.
MJ writes: The PML (q), in fact former CM Pervaiz Ilahi is paying Rs 1500 to members of a household in exchange for a promise to vote for the q league in the polls. The letter that comes along with the money has Pervaiz Ilahi’s face on it, his signature and a seal of the govt of Punjab! It is the most obvious violation of election rules and was reported by Dawn a few weeks ago. Someone I know of, accepted the money and distributed it amongst her domestic help, with a promise that she will vote for the Q league. When in actual fact this lady has no intention of even stepping out on the polling day for fear of violence. So the violation must be highlighted, but sadly for the powers that be, bribing the electorate may still not ensure a victory.
I accept that until fully verified these reports could be entirely false but I hope that a collective effort by readers here can help verify such reports, but if not then its important to open the floor up for discussions on the various methods used by campaigners in the past and if this menace can indeed be stopped. I assure you the international community is anxiously trying to understand the intricacies of our rigged election process. Any one care to take a jab at this