ECP issues notices to Imran, other PTI leaders over 'contemptuous remarks' against watchdog

Published August 19, 2022
This combination photo shows PTI’s Asad Umar (L), Imran Khan (C) and Fawad Chaudhry (R). — Pictures via Twitter
This combination photo shows PTI’s Asad Umar (L), Imran Khan (C) and Fawad Chaudhry (R). — Pictures via Twitter

The Election Commission of Pakistan on Friday issued notices to PTI Chairman Imran Khan and other senior party leaders Fawad Chaudhry and Asad Umar for using "intemperate and contemptuous remarks" against the electoral watchdog in recent speeches.

The ECP issued two notices to Imran and one each to Chaudhry and Umar and directed them to appear in person or through counsel before the commission office in Islamabad on Aug 30.

The watchdog accused Imran of levelling baseless allegations at the ECP and its chief in his addresses on July 18, 21, 27 and Aug 4 and 10.

Read: Imran vs the CEC

Imran and his supporters have been vocal about their disapproval of the ECP and its chief.

The PTI chief has repeatedly demanded Chief Election Commissioner Sikander Sultan Raja resign, claiming that his party won the Punjab by-polls despite a "biased ECP" and the use of state machinery in PML-N’s favour.

He had also claimed that the CEC tried his best to turn the polls in favour of the PML-N.

“I am disappointed in the chief election commissioner. How could he let all this happen? He is not competent to run [the Election Commission of Pakistan] and is biased towards a political party. Raja should immediately resign,” he said in a victory speech after his party swept the Punjab by-elections.

In response to his allegations, the ECP notice reads: "you [Imran] have willfully and intentionally scandalised, ridiculed, and maligned this commission and the members of the commission in order to bring the commission and its members into hatred in eyes of general public, which otherwise is an attempt to prejudice."

Read: No intention of resigning, says chief election commissioner

The ECP found the remarks derogatory and in contempt under "Section 10 of the Elections Act, 2017 read with relevant provisions of the Contempt Of Court Ordinance, 2003".

The commission also berated the leaders for instigating the public against the ECP chief by using derogatory language which was an “attempt to prejudice the process of forthcoming election which constitute a clear contempt of the commission.”

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