Mistakes of 2013 polls won’t be repeated, CEC assures PTI

Published September 3, 2015
Imran said he was delighted to know that the ECP had started work on all the findings of the poll commission.—APP/File
Imran said he was delighted to know that the ECP had started work on all the findings of the poll commission.—APP/File

ISLAMABAD: Chief Election Commissioner retired Justice Sardar Mohammad Raza Khan has assured the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf that technical mistakes made during the 2013 polls will not be repeated in the next general elections.

The assurance was given to a PTI delegation, headed by Chairman Imran Khan, which had called on the CEC here on Wednesday.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Imran Khan said he had raised the issue of what he called unsatisfactory response by the Election Commission to his letter seeking explanation over the findings of the poll inquiry commission.

Also read: Incomplete ECP can’t hold elections: minister

He said he was delighted to know that the ECP had started work on all the findings of the poll commission. He quoted the CEC as saying that the findings of the inquiry commission were being looked into to address all shortcomings identified by it.

The PTI chief said he had also conveyed to the CEC his party’s position on termination of contracts of election tribunals because most of the cases pending for about two years were in final stages.

He alleged that the decision to remove judges like Kazim Ali Malik had been taken under the PML-N pressure. He said two ministers had threatened Kazim Ali and tried to tarnish his image after he ordered the deseating of former National Assembly speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on his petition.

According to the PTI chief, the CEC said the demand for reinstating election tribunals till disposition of all pending cases would be considered.

He accused the Punjab police of working for the PML-N and demanded deployment of army troops in and outside the polling stations during the coming by-elections in Lahore and Lodhran.

He said he had also raised the issue of release of development funds ahead of the local government elections in Punjab and the CEC assured him that the ECP would not allow use of such funds to influence elections.

Mr Khan replied in the negative when asked if the PTI would boycott the by-polls if there was no change in the ECP set-up and said he was not the one who would flee the arena.

But, he said, there was no justification for the ECP members, who he alleged had rigged the 2013 polls, to conduct future elections. All the commission’s members had been appointed by the government and the opposition under a “flawed procedure” introduced through the 18th Amendment, he alleged.

Specifically targeting the ECP member from Punjab, retired Justice Riaz Kiani, the PTI chief said the judge had no moral ground to continue to hold the office and hide behind the constitution.

About the CEC’s response to the issue, he said Justice Raza Khan talked about the constitutional position of the members while he (Imran Khan) stressed the need for meeting the demand of justice.

The PTI chief announced that a “historic public rally” would be held in Islamabad on Friday to press the demand for resignation of all four ECP members.

He said the PTI was now a party different from what it was and had the street power and volunteers which no other party could match. He said the polling agents and volunteers were being trained.

Answering a question, he said strict action would be taken against those who had violated party discipline during the recent local government elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2015

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