- Political parties should incorporate youth within their power structure, stresses the moot.
- Qurat-ul-Ain Fatima shares different methods employed by the election commission to improve voter registration and turnout.
- PMYP Deputy-Secretary Ali Muhammad Malik says “we need a responsive government that prioritises youth empowerment.”
ISLAMABAD: Political parties need to play a more active role to involve youth in electoral affairs, starting by incorporating youth within its power structure and reserving seats for the youth in the National Assembly.
These were some of the recommendations proposed by the participants at a dialogue organised by PILDAT & Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Pakistan to discuss the “Missing Young Voters of Pakistan” in Islamabad today.
FES Pakistan Country Director Dr Niels Hegewisch reiterated the German organisation’s dedication towards creating socially democratic states around the globe. One of their aims in Pakistan is to promote the role and participation of youth in democratic practices of the country as “infusing youth into politics and legislation is the true way of forming a representative democracy in a country.”
In her key remarks, Qurat-ul-Ain Fatima, Director of Media Coordination and Outreach Wing & Director Protocol, ECP, shared key statistics on voters of Pakistan and the different methods employed by the election commission to improve voter registration and turnout.
She said ECP has focused on local government elections to encourage youth to vote and even contest as candidates; with KP and Sindh allocating 5% of their seats to youth adding similar strategies need to be devised and implemented on provincial and national levels.
Prime Minister’s Youth Programme (PMYP) Deputy Secretary Dr Ali Muhammad Malik highlighted the efforts undertaken by the programme to engage the youth of the country.
Malik said we need a responsive government that prioritises youth empowerment, employment, education and engagement further adding PMYP has begun the process of soliciting nominations for youth-led groups and organizations in order to enable fruitful participation of young people in the development of national cohesion and inclusion.
Shaheera Jalil Albasit, Advocate for Pakistan’s Youth Election Quota Campaign, stressed the importance of having youth representation in the legislative bodies and the resulting impact this would have on future policy development.
Shaheera then shared key highlights of the bill she had introduced in the NA to have reserved seats in the legislature and political bodies for youth. Its three main demands include: 30% of the total candidates of political parties should be youth and the duty of financing these candidates’ campaigns should be on the parties themselves.
in his opening presentation, PILDAT President Ahmed Bilal Mehboob explained the impact this low youth participation will have by weakening the democratic governance system of this country.
He highlighted the ever-increasing voter turnout gap in the previous general elections and then shared statistics on young candidates given party tickets by political parties.