International

How much does it cost to hold elections in Pakistan? Billions and billions of dollars

Prime News, International (Islamabad), July 24:- Conducting elections in any country in the world is an extremely costly exercise running into billions of dollars. The challenge is even more real in a country like Pakistan which has previously seen democracy being subservient to the military. Little wonder then that the cost of conducting elections here has seen an exponential rise in the last ten years and has now more than doubled to more than US$ 3 billion.

According to a report in Pakistan-based Dawn, the expenditure on elections in the country has seen a massive rise since 2008 when the approximate cost was pegged at US$ 1.5 billion. This went up to US$ 3 billion in the next edition of elections – in 2013. In this period, the number of registered voters went up by 5 million – from 81 million to 86 million. That number has now seen a massive rise and this year, approximately 106 million people in the country have the right to cast their vote in the July 25 elections.

The report does mention that the monetary expenditures mentioned are total estimated costs and that the budget of the country’s election commission forms only a part of it. But even that has seen a massive rise this year  – going up from approximately US$ 36 million in 2013 to US$ 163 million, a four-time jump. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

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