ISLAMABAD: The 2nd National Voters Day was observed in Pakistan on Thursday to enhance the participation of people in the democratic process.The main ceremony was held at the President’s House in Islamabad in which President Mamnoon Hussain inaugurated a mobile phone app launched by the Election Commission of Pakistan for the awareness and information of the general public.In his address on the occasion, the president expressed satisfaction that the electoral system of the country had entered into the modern era. He said experiments of bio-metric system and electronic voting machines have also been inducted to further improve the electoral system and ensure greater transparency. He said the technological advancement introduced by the ECP matches the international standards.The president said the role of political parties, civil society and media was equally important to educate the masses about the importance of their vote.Speaking on the occasion, Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Raza Khan called upon the general public to ensure the registration of their vote. He underlined the fact that the turnout in last two general elections was around 50% to 55% and there are plenty of space exists for improvement in this regard. “After the necessary legislation, the delimitation of constituencies is to be completed before the next elections. The Election Commission has been inviting the attention of the government to this issue so that new delimitation can be completed in time,” he stressed.Meanwhile, according to a separate press release issued by the National Assembly Secretariat, Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq congratulated voters on the eve of 2nd National Voters Day.The speaker said that commemoration of the National Voters Day not just highlights the significance and power of vote but also serves as a reminder for creating awareness among the people of country to ensure their maximum participation in the electoral processes. “This day holds historic significance as it marks the first time adult franchise in 1970 based on the principle of one man one vote,” he added.The speaker said that the constitution of Pakistan has acknowledged vote as a right by explicitly quoting in the preamble that the State shall exercise its powers through the chosen representatives; hence the National Assembly of Pakistan is repository of the Nation’s democratic will. He said that over 97 million registered voters were going to define their fate in the general elections of 2018. “On this day and beyond, all the relevant stakeholders must jointly strive for making citizens aware of their constitutional right and the need to exercise the same discreetly,” he said.The speaker remarked that there was a need to strive towards a democracy that reflects inclusion, accountability and truly representative structures. He said that democracy cannot be a true representative if all demographic groups especially women, youth and minorities are not equally made part of the process.Published in Daily Times, December 8th 2017.