The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has invited 15 main stream political parties for a consultative meeting on September 27 to clear its position and remove any apprehensions on the preparedness of the commission for holding general elections.
The formal agenda of the meeting includes discussion on matters related to the general and local bodies’ elections, code of conduct for elections and other related matters.
ECP Secretary Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan has written letters to the political parties in this regard.
“There are some indications that some powers would be trying to delay the elections on different pretexts. Holding of elections is a political matter, but we want to convey to everyone that the ECP is ready to fulfill its constitutional obligations,” a senior official in ECP told The Express Tribune.
He added that some people were talking about holding local government elections before the general elections, but, in fact, two provinces have not yet finalised their required legislations.
The ECP invitation read: “The ECP has made all necessary preparations to fulfill its constitutional obligations to hold fair, transparent and credible elections in the country when the elections are announced … it also considers it essential to consult the political parties which are the most important stakeholder as far as elections are concerned.”
The letter also said some elements are creating doubts about the elections, security of the country and spreading confusion.
Those invited to attend include: Awami National Party, Balochistan National Party (Mengal), Balochistan National Party (Awami), Jamaat-i-Islami, Jamhori Watan Party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazal), Muttahida Qaumi Movement, National Party, Pakistan Muslim League (Functional), Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid), Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Peoples Party (Sherpao), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 20th, 2012.
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