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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Candidates Contesting in Multi Ridings

With high profile candidates contesting from more than one seat, the travesty become evident if they win from more than one seat. By law they have to vacate the other seat/s.

The Government has to organize polling in those seats again. It costs approx $300,000 to $450,000 to set the machinery for one bye-election. These costs can be avoided directly or indirectly.

In Pakistan in 1997, a parliamentarian spent, on average, about $120,000 in order to get elected. Corporate financing of political parties is common even in well-developed democracies, but in South Asia comprehensive legislation to regulate these finances is often lacking or weakly enforced. LINK

These costs were an average from 1997. In 2007 the costs may well be between $150,000 to $240,000 per seat.

Directly: A simple amendment to the Election Act whereby a candidate can only contest for one seat in any given election.

Indirectly: Another Amendment to the Elections Act declaring that if a candidate wins more than one seat, the seat/s vacated will be awarded to the candidate in that riding garnering the second highest votes.

This will have the desired effect.


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