IT is worrying that the EC did not find any irregularity in its probe of the last series of UZ elections that was mired in violence and gross violation of electoral rules. Substantial amounts of news and photographic record of these irregularities have been available to be made use of. Even some election commissioners did not make secret their displeasure over the wrongdoings.
According to the EC, this time they asked for probe reports from district election officials instead of DCs so that the civil administration could not influence the process. But on the ground, according to the EC secretary, presiding officers for fear of reprisal from local representatives and administration did not speak up against the perpetrators. That's why the probe reports lack reflection of the true picture. This shows the very weakness of the EC as a statutory body entrusted with the duty of maintaining sanctity and integrity of the electoral process. At the same time it shows a brazen faced interference in electoral exercise.
During the election, the EC showed its helplessness in staving off irregularities that happened in broad daylight; even some election officials were seen in vote rigging acts. The EC admitted that it had very little control over those officials as they were deputed from the civil administration to back up the understaffed EC.
The EC cannot shrug off its responsibility by passing the buck on to others and be complacent about its role. It has not only constitutional obligations but also powers to prevent such violations of electoral laws. But it chose not to exercise its remit; instead, unfortunately allowed its credibility to be smeared. Let an independent probe be carried out to clear the air.