Global Politics

Elections in Pakistan

Election morning in this town and crowds are building. The vote is not so secret under this system since voters register by party and have to go to that party's tent that gets them a slip and a ballot inside. This father gets his slip from the Pakistan People's Party, the party of slain leader Benazir Buttho. He thinks the PPP will help with inflation. He goes into a government building to cast his vote. He spends a few minutes being sent back and forth to different tables before casting his vote. Back outside I run into a Pakistani election monitor. He says he's already found a violation: government civil servants are manning the tent for President Musharraf's party, PMLQ. The PPP has complained of many violations in this election: Musharraf's party has padded its own voter list and disenfranchised others. This provincial candidate accuses of mass rigging. At least nine people were killed and dozens injured. The candidate says Musharraf's party would lose if it was a clean vote. Musharraf's party does have its supporters here. These men say Musharraf has provided the area with bridges, roads and free education. The ruling party's candidate is this man says his party has given basic necessities to the area. His father and grandfather have also been local political leaders. His dad is the same one the PPP candidate complained was responsible for massive rigging in the district.