Consultation Dialogues on Free and Fair Elections

Democracy is the manifestation of people’s will. The right to vote is fundamental to any democratic state, but entitlement does not guarantee this right. Pakistan is a democratic country but unfortunately could not complete democratic circle due to the interventions of successive coup of Military dictators. Though 65 years has passed but Pakistan’s democratic history just has the span of less than 30 years. Free and fair election is the prerequisite for smooth and straight functioning of governance in the country. UNDP-SDPD in its commitment to strengthen democratic process has arranged district level consultations with its local partners to collect recommendations from the diverse section of society. SDPD has provided a platform to different people such as, academicians, legislators, activists, religious scholars and influential of the areas, where they could recommend ways for the free and fair elections in the up-coming elections in 2013. Implementing Partner Name Global Educational, Economic & Social Empowerment (GEESE)

In this scenario these consultations were planned to undertake the assignment of initiating debate on Free and Fair Elections with regards to its respective issues in the light of devastated infrastructure of election commission in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Consultations also brought into discussion the necessary steps to be taken and create an understanding among relevant stakeholders. These consultations also represented different issues that require parliamentarians to play their role as effective legislators. Global Education Economic and Social Empowerment-Pakistan organized ten consultation dialogues under the Strengthening Democracy through Parliamentary Development (SDPD) program of UNDP in the selected districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. GEESE (Global Education Economic and Social Empowerment) involved to record, monitor and support the consultation process with relevant stakeholders. GEESE (Global Education Economic and Social Empowerment-Pakistan) and local CSOs wisely identified the concerned stakeholders including lawyers, representatives of CBOs, MNAs / MPAs of respective constituencies, educationists, intelligentsia and common citizens of the selected areas. Before embarking upon the consultations arrangements, Global Education Economic and Social Empowerment-Pakistan ensured the overall understanding of the local organizations and networks about the procedure and process of holding the consultations workshops so as to accomplish the preset objectives to the optimum level. Participants across the various sections participated in the consultations These dialogues were planned to accumulate and integrate the intellectual input of the prime stakeholders, vibrant civil society activists, focal persons of civil society organizations, local government representatives and the parliamentarians. The details of these consultative workshops are recorded as individual report for each session beside the consolidated report. The recommendations were shared to media and legal fraternity to engage constructively with the parliament and the Election Commission of Pakistan for removing the caveats thus identified.

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