ISLAMABAD: Chairman Imran Khan Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government
on Monday asked the chairperson and members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to resign and the electoral body to be dissolved as the ruling party held him responsible for failing to carry out the Senate’s recent vote in a transparent manner.
Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad, education minister Shafqat Mahmood, flanked by Information Minister Shibli Faraz and minister of science and technology Fawad Chaudhry
, demanded the replacement of current ECP officials with new ones to restore public confidence in the institution’s ability to hold free and fair elections.
The incumbent government and the electoral body have been at odds since the implementation of bypolls for the Daska assembly seat in Punjab last month, with the ECP accusing the government of massive fraud and ordering a withdrawal. Relations took a turn for the worse after the ECP refused to implement the barcode on the recent senate elections
to allow cross-checking of ballots, claiming that he did not have enough time to carry out the act.
Following opposition candidate Yousaf Raza Gilani’s victory against government candidate Hafeez Sheikh in this month’s senate elections in Islamabad’s general seat, Prime Minister Imran Khan
criticized the commission, accusing it of encouraging the use of corrupt practices in voting.
“The ECP completely failed to ensure a free and fair vote in Senate elections. Now, no political party is happy with its performance and they all criticize it, ”said the Minister of National Education, claiming that this confirmed the PM’s stance that transparent elections can only be ensured if the practice of buying and selling votes for the upper house. parliament is abolished.
“This is a complete failure of the ECP. It failed to fulfill its mandate and responsibilities, ”said the minister. “There is only one solution to this crisis: The ECP as it is today must be scrapped to restore confidence in it,” he said, calling on the commission to step down en masse.
“If the political parties and the general public do not have faith in the ECP, in its decisions, then the only way for the current ECP leadership to step down and allow the installation of a new ECP,” he said. “We want the ECP to assume a neutral referee role, which it is not currently doing,” he added.