ISLAMABAD: The federal government has demanded of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja and the members of the electoral body to step down.
“Being the largest party of the country, we do not have trust in the ECP,” said Federal Minister for Education, Shafqat Mahmood while addressing a joint news conference, along with Minister for Information and Broadcasting Syed Shibli Faraz, and Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, in Islamabad Monday afternoon.
Shafqat Mahmood said the Chief Election Commissioner and all its members should resign to provide an opportunity to the parliament to constitute a new and credible Election Commission, which can ensure transparency and check corrupt practices in the polling process.
Shafqat said it is the responsibility of the ECP to hold free and fair elections and now no party has faith in the sitting ECP. He demanded the ECP members resign from their responsibilities.
“You have seen how much money was used in the recent Senate elections. It reinforced and validated Imran khan’s stance for free and fair elections to stop corrupt practices.” He maintained that the ECP failed to fulfill its responsibilities as no one has now trust in the ECP anymore. “PTI as the largest party of the ECP has no confidence in the ECP,” Shafqat Mehmood said.
Despite political differences with the PMLN, the government tried again and again for the reform to root out the use of money from the Senate elections as per the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Shafqat cited Article 218 (3) of the Constitution of Pakistan, “It shall be the duty of the Election Commission to organize and conduct the election and to make such arrangements as are necessary to ensure that the election is conducted honestly, justly, fairly and in accordance with law, and that corrupt practices are guarded against.”
The Federal Education Minister said it surfaced in the Senate elections 2021 that corrupt practices were involved in it as in one election Yousaf Raza Gillani got 169 votes and the government’s candidate grabbed 164 but at the same time on women’s seat, votes were 174:164.
“Yousuf Raza Gilani’s win shows that corrupt practices were done during the election of the Senate seat from Islamabad,” he said.
“The ECP is not playing the role of a neutral umpire and the ECP should be like this that has to be trusted by all parties,” he added.
Earlier in the month, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had expressed its disappointment over the allegations raised by PM Imran Khan during his address to the Nation. NNI