Offering Option in Ballot Paper:Election 2013

Following mail has been sent to the Election Commissioner. It is being shared here for public good & awareness.

Yasmeen Ali

Honourable Justice (Retd.) Mr. Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim
Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan
Your Honor,
As a concerned Pakistani citizen,also a lawyer by profession I feel, our ballot paper do not allow the masses to exercise the right to vote in its true spirit.We see the same ‘electable’ the same faces,the same names. Time has refused to weed out such elements . I therefore suggest, addition of another icon/slot to choose by voters.It should be:NONE OF THE ABOVE. A straight 50% of votes caste on NONE OF THE ABOVE option, should disqualify contestants from that particular constituency for 10 years, confiscate their security,parties must put up new candidates for the constituency,elections to be held on another date with new candidates.
I believe, employing this codicil will go a long way in choosing representatives, in the spirit of the Constitution.
Yasmeen Ali
The writer is author of “A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan”.
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  • Kamran Mughal  On January 4, 2013 at 10:34 am

    I strongly agree with you. I am sure majority of people od Pakistan should demand the same from ECP.

  • Muhammad Omar  On January 4, 2013 at 10:35 am

    great idea . . . specially 10 year ban . . . awesome 🙂

  • SHOMU BHATTACHARYA  On January 4, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Yes this must be implemented so that those standing for elections just cannot take it for granted and the right candidate with clear and honest credentials are elected–or else the same old rut will further ruin the nation. Yasmeen I am indeed very happy that as a responsible and truly patriotic citizen you have taken up the issue with the highest authority and more people must also raise their voices on this very important and vital issue.

  • Asad Mustufa  On January 4, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Great. I hope they read it.Such an exercise would probably require Parlimentary GoAhead; there are “Vested Interests”that would not allow it. I suggest an open letter to the print media- endorsed by all those who read and UNDERSTAND your write ups.

  • Iqbaluddin Ahmad  On January 4, 2013 at 10:37 am

    I am inclined to agree. . No vote wasted. In fact it will be something unique. Good.

  • Osman Haider  On January 4, 2013 at 10:40 am


  • Ali Sher  On January 4, 2013 at 11:39 am

    what you say carries logic and promotes progression. that’s something no one is interested in!

  • Nasim  On January 4, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Very good indeed Best Wishes Nasim

  • Kalim  On January 4, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    Yes I would fully support this proposal.

  • datukik  On January 4, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Dear Yasmeen,
    With Sallaams, I endorse your wise suggestion. Yours, K. I. Khan.

  • Yasmeen Ali  On January 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    Offering Option in Ballot Paper:Election 2013

  • Javed  On January 4, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    I am bit skeptic of the success of this option.Do you really think that “None of the Above”wil get 50%vote.I think it will be rarest of rare while party field tainted candidate in large no.My suggestion All candidate chosen by party must be put to legal and judicial scrutiny so that their elimination is decided before they contest election.Otherwise “None of Above”wil only satisfy voters ego that they have done their duty while tainted candidate wil continue to be elected.

    • Yasmeen Ali  On January 4, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      All scrutiny must be undertaken before elections.My suggestion by no means suggest it replaces the pre- scrutiny test. On the contrary, it adds another level to be crossed..

  • Mansoor Mubeen  On January 4, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    the option, none of the above, will clearly demonstrate the percentage of the people rejecting all the candidates , but do we have any example of such a ballot paper in any part of the world ?

  • Yasmeen Ali  On January 4, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    None of the Above (NOTA), also known as “against all” or a “scratch” vote, is a ballot option in some jurisdictions or organizations, designed to allow the voter to indicate disapproval of all of the candidates in a voting system. It is based on the principle that consent requires the ability to withhold consent in an election, just as they can by voting no on ballot questions.Entities that include “None of the Above” on ballots as standard procedure include Greece (λευκό, white, but unrelated to a political party of the similarly sounding name-however it is symbolic only), the U.S. state of Nevada (None of These Candidates), Ukraine (Проти всіх), Spain (voto en blanco), and Colombia (voto en blanco). Russia had such an option on its ballots (Против всех) until it was abolished in 2006. Bangladesh introduced this option (না ভোট) in 2008.

  • Fahim  On January 4, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Let us first disqualify and punish the fake degree holders,dual national,tax evadors,MP,s without NTN,s,pre-poll rigging etc etc
    With illetrate voters,N0NE of the above percentage should be 25percent
    I appreciate your rethinking on the so called electable mafia.
    Regards and my best wishes
    *** This Message Has Been Sent Using BlackBerry Internet Service from Mobilink ***

  • Dr Jamil Rizvi  On January 5, 2013 at 3:10 am

    An excellent idea and very good sugession , I fully endorse it —— not only the candidate but in my opinion the party (to which they belong) should be banned for next ten years .

  • Shahida Jamil  On January 5, 2013 at 3:11 am

    I TOTALLY AGREE. I have also been suggesting this at various fora and on TV. They just do not pick it up!
    Best regards,
    Shahida Jamil.

  • Badar  On January 5, 2013 at 8:49 am

    I fully endorse your views.Chief Election Comissioner can and should be persuaded to disqualify those parliamentarins who have been guilty of not submitting I TAX RETURNS as per the requirement of law. As per reports 70 percent existing plms did not submit Returns and as per section 62 andv 63 are not sadiq and ameen and should immediately be disqualified by the CEC. SIMILAR OTHER measures also need to b taken byb CEC to ensure that cheaters and looters do not again occupy the seats in Parliament. The porformance of parties in power need to be reviewed in comparision of thier manifestos and some kind of punitive action be taken for guilty of not fulfilling the clauses of Constitution which required them to deliver basic needs of the citizens which they have failed to deliver
    If those who can take cognizance of the above do not do so then common men will stand against our democratic system and will follow those who think that inqelab is the only way forward for them. Rgds Badar

  • GRK  On January 5, 2013 at 9:37 am

    indeed a good steps towards bringing sanity.we are just tired of looking to these faces grk

  • Razi Malik  On January 6, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Very good suggestion from Yasmeen to work on the concept. How about banning coalitions with small parties against ministries and reducing the number of ministers and advisors through budget ceilings.

  • Brig Javed Iqbal Malik  On January 6, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Thought provoking!
    *** This Message Has Been Sent Using BlackBerry Internet Service from Mobilink ***

  • Iqbal Maladwala  On January 6, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Excellent suggestion. I hope it gets accepted.

  • asif khan  On January 6, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I agree.How it can be accepted? Shall it be a petition to ECE or send emails by the people!

    • Yasmeen Ali  On January 6, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Write to papers supporting this idea plz.

  • Muhammad Javed Iqbal  On January 6, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    It is a good idea but a little too late! It can only win you acclaim but can
    do practically nothing in this regard. As a lawyer you should know that
    Election Commissioner does not legislate election laws but the NA does.
    And as long as the corrupt PPP, MQM and ML (all factions) are in majority,
    we can not even dream of such laws.

    There is no benefit of throwing arrows in the air! Or is there?

    Muhammad Javed Iqbal

  • Hisham Khan  On January 6, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    Just kind reminder to all the optimists:

    “Nothing will change. All you see now, with Mr. Tahir is a smoke screen. A “houdini act”. JFK wanted change, got assassinated, King Faisal wanted change, got assassinated, Bhutto wanted change, got assassinated. There is a precedence established to all the governing rulers of the world. If they do not follow the regime, the socio, political and economical reforms which outline a succession towards “ONE WORLD ORDER”, the result is a simple elimination from one’s “life”.

    Hisham Khan

  • Camila Dereus  On January 7, 2013 at 6:29 am

    I’d must test with you here. Which is not one thing I often do! I take pleasure in reading a publish that can make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to remark!

  • Irfan  On January 7, 2013 at 10:14 am

    It is not true that EC does not have power to change ballot contents. In fact, EC has a lot of power to do anything it deems feasible and worthwhile to do. NA’s job is to have and effective EC but then the buck stops there. Take a look:

    NOTA is a great idea. This will tell the voters they have to deliver—or else they have no place in peoples’ hearts—even if they win.


  • Muhammad Zafar Chaudry  On January 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Brilliant and timely.It will also effectively address the the concerns of the so-called Shaikhul Islam. Yasmeen! wonderful and thank you very much on behalf of the future generations of Pakistan.

  • Najma Sadique  On January 13, 2013 at 8:02 pm

    Love this idea. If it happens, I’ll start casting my vote again. Voted only once in my life, and never after that as there was no one I wanted to vote for in my area. – NS

  • Shamsuddin Dahar  On January 20, 2013 at 5:28 am

    Fully Agree with you

  • Syed Matloob Hussain  On January 21, 2013 at 6:26 am

    you are quite right madam ; rather on each election the contesting political parties should be dutybound to give new candidate exept then the near kith n kins of the previous. in this way ,there would be more democracy within the political parties and this will encourage the dedicated worker rather then the hiers of few prominencies

  • Naushad Shafkat  On January 24, 2013 at 4:00 am

    The idea you put forth is novel. But what if “None of the above” turns up on more than 50% of the ballot papers even after several rounds? Should that constituency be left unrepresented and for how long? You see elections are all about representation.

  • an abdullah  On January 25, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Excellent suggestion.
    I need to add one more point, candidates should be atleast graduate. we employ matriculate tea boys in offices but choose ducks to amend constitution.

  • abdullah malik  On March 17, 2013 at 5:07 am

    your poit of view is very right but its the masses who must care abt their vote they dont vote any corrupt one

  • hassnain  On March 17, 2013 at 5:49 am

    this is the great example to left out hte old and currept faces in every constituencey of pak

  • Ayub Bham  On April 4, 2013 at 7:43 am

    An excellent suggestion… but isn’t it a bit late.

  • Durand  On May 29, 2013 at 11:53 am


    We have recently been informed about the letter you have addressed to the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan, asking to add a NOTA icon/slot in the ballots. Indeed, the Pakistani journals report about public discussions of this issue. Could you tell more about the current debate regarding this question: it only Mr. Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim who opposes the introduction of a NOTA option, or the government generally speaking is also opposed to it ?

    In France, our Association is engaged in the same kind of action, and wish to know more about your campaign.

    Looking forward to reading your answer very soon,

    Best regards.

    Olivier Durand


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: