Pakistan elections candidates face tough scrutiny
Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:55AM
Pakistan’s Election Commission has come up with strict criteria to determine the moral conduct of candidates ahead of national elections in May this year. Candidates suspected of having fake degrees, holding dual nationality, or having a track record of alleged involvement in corruption scandals, may be disqualified from standing for electionWorried and perhaps confused what to do now ! These are MPs and Ministers of outgoing Pakistani Parliament. They are not sure of their return to the Parliament --- not necessarily because of their unpopularity among people. But because of an extra ordinary prequalification scrutiny to determine their moral conduct before they are allowed to contest national elections in May this year. The Election Commission of Pakistan, has put in place a stringent legal mechanism to bar tax evaders, bank loan defaulters and even those who got their loan written off. Now outgoing MPs and other new candidates are bound to provide details to the Election Commission about their property, income taxes, utility bills, development funds they spent during last five years and donations they have been receiving from known or unknown sources to run their political activities. Candidates are required to provide details of expenditures on foreign trips they and their dependent family members had during last three years. Also they are bound to provide the record of academic qualifications to verify their suspected fake degrees and discreet details of their dual nationalities mostly of the US, Britain and Canada. Any wrong statement on the subject would disqualify candidates. Over 60 to 70 percent MPs of outgoing Parliament from all major political parties may find it hard to qualify to contest elections if fresh elections rules are fully implemented.