Imran-led government demands resignation of chief election commissioner, wants Pakistan poll body reconstituted
Islamabad : After a drubbing by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) alliance in the recent Senate polls, the Imran Khan-led government on Monday has called for the resignation of the chief election commissioner and the reconstitution of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), which it said failed to hold elections in a transparent manner, reported Geo News.
In a joint press conference, Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, flanked by Information Minister Shibli Faraz and Fawad Chaudhry alleged ECP that it failed to act as a "neutral umpire" in recently-held Senate elections.
"The Election Commission failed to act as a neutral umpire, hence [its officials] should resign," added Mehmood.
Moreover, talking about open balloting demand by Imran Khan in Senate elections the ministers said in a statement: "It was a longstanding demand of the prime minister that the power of money should not be used to influence elections, For this purpose, the premier wanted the Senate elections to be held via an open ballots."
The rift between the government and ECP rose after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, lost the important Senate election for the Islamabad General seat when former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani defeated Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh despite not having sufficient numbers in his camp.
In his address to the nation following the election, Prime Minister Imran Khan had lashed out at the ECP and accused it of allowing horse-trading to take place, reported Geo News.
The commission had hit back at the government a day later, saying that it has "never come under any sort of pressure and God willing, will not in the future as well".
"We cannot ignore the law and the Constitution to please anyone," the ECP had said.
Referring to former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani's victory over Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, the ECP had said it 'rejects' the analysis and criticism that is being levelled over one result of the Senate elections.
"This is the beauty of democracy and independent elections and the secret ballot which the entire nation witnessed, which was according to the Constitution," it had said.
The ECP had said that it had heard all delegations that had called on it to discuss election-related matters and conducted a detailed review of their concerns and recommendations ahead of the Senate polls, reported Geo News.
"The election commission hears everyone but fulfills its responsibilities in accordance with the law and Constitution and takes decisions independently, not under any sort of pressure," the statement had read. (ANI)