Elections 2013 will not be fair, indicates SC order on delimitation….

SCIf Supreme Court decision on Karachi delimitation of constituencies is any indication, the coming elections in Karachi are not going to be fair, at least in Karachi. ECP violated earlier order of the SC on delimitation under pressure from MQM and put a big question mark on its independence and credibility. Which had already become controversial. Court on Saturday assailed the Commission for not implementing the court’s orders on delimitation of Karachi constituencies. The court had observed on Nov 26 that constituencies in Karachi should be delimited in a manner that they comprise “mixed population” to avoid political polarization. The order says that Delimitation of Constituencies Act, 1974 empowers the ECP to delimit the constituencies even with the absence of fresh census. It also elaborated Article 51 of the Constitution, sub-section 2 of which is only related to the allocation of seats in provincial assemblies and the national assembly and stated that it had nothing to do with the delimitation process. The court ruled that the plea of the ECP was not in accordance with the law as the election commission apparently does not seem interested in implementing the Supreme Court’s orders.

ECP’s credibility has already been questioned and reservations about its independence have been voiced by various quarters. A petition in the Supreme Court questioning the unconstitutional appointments of ECP members filed by Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri was not entertained citing the reason of dual nationality of the petitioner. However, ECP came under pressure on the issue of eligibility of cheats, those candidates who presented fake college degrees to establish their qualification, of tax dodgers and loan defaulters. ECP’s initiative of detailed scrutiny was blocked by the people sitting in the Parliament sizeable members of which are believed to be cheats and tax dodgers. The CEC has shown no spite to resist the pressure and is believed to have caved in.

It is widely believed that ECP violated SC orders on delimitation to please MQM, a violent ethnic party controlling Karachi. The delimitation could possibly loosen MQM’s grip on the city.

The Supreme Court judgment that ECP was not interested in implementing the court’s decision is being seen as vindication of the reservations of Dr Qadri reinforced by similar reservations expressed by Imran Khan. They accuse that two parties in the Parliament, PPP and PML (N) have appointed ECP members and the CEC through mutual consultations which reflects that ECP was heavily biased in favor of these parties.