12:00 AM, March 25, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015

Electoral violence

Electoral violence

Sanctity of polls eroded

IS the election commissioner-in-charge talking about some other election or the one held on Sunday? If not, then how is it possible for him to term the election generally free and fair with some stray incidents of violence only?
His expression of satisfaction over how the election passed is not borne out by the reportage in the media that revealed incidents of blatant violation of electoral rules in a fairly good number of polling centres. Clearly, the election commissioner-in-charge failed to look at the whole picture while making that rather sweeping upbeat assessment.
Also, the prime minister's political adviser's claim that this phase of election passed more peacefully than the earlier ones is clearly an overstatement. Surely, an election where four people are killed and where violence occurs in 40 out of the 90 UZ where the election was held cannot be, by any measure, called peaceful.
We are constrained to say that the violence and all other forms of electoral malpractice in the fourth round of UZ elections have surpassed any election in the recent past. This calls for investigation and fixing of responsibility about which the election commissioner-in- charge unfortunately hasn't been forthcoming. One hopes he will go into the conduct of the election in greater detail and ensure that the next phase of election is not tainted by similar incidents. The integrity and sanctity of polls, to a large extent depend on competent leadership of the Election Commission.


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