Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim on Thursday rejected the demand made by few political parties for dissolution of the election commission.
CEC Fakhruddin G Ebrahim stated, “This criticism is most unfortunate as we are only six weeks away from the expiry of the term of present government and on the verge of a smooth transition from one democratic government to the next for the very first time. Also, penal action has been taken against sitting parliamentarians for holding dual nationality and fake degrees. The number and security at polling stations has been increased.”
He further said,”We are all retired judges of our respective Superior Courts and have absolutely no political affiliation. It is pertinent to note that none of the attacks against us give any details about our so-called political affiliations and only make vague, unsubstantiated and baseless allegations. This appears to be a deliberate attempt to malign the ECP for political gain.”
Earlier, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Minhajul Quran International (MQI) chief Tahirul Qadri had come together and expressed their lack of confidence on the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). Qadri had reservations regarding the legality of the commission and filed a petition in the Supreme Court for its reconstitution.
Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q) had expressed full confidence on the CEC but had reservations regarding other members of the ECP.
A press statement by the ECP emphasised on transparency and openness of the present commission. It stated that the ECP has met leaders from all parties, NGOs, government officials, members from the bureaucracy and foreign dignitaries to continuously learn and address their concerns. It took notice of allegations of pre-poll rigging and imposed unprecedented bans on advertisements using public money, doling out jobs for votes and diversion of funds by the Provincial and Federal Governments to please constituents on the eve of elections.
The ECP has prepared an electoral roll in collaboration with Nadra for the first time, which will eradicate duplicate voting, the statement added. It further addressed the issues of women voters as well: “Legislative proposals have been made to increase women voter participation, ensure the secrecy of the ballot paper and enhance nomination scrutiny measures.”
The CEC concluded the matter by saying, “I have full faith in the integrity, independence and competence of all the members as well as the staff of the ECP. We have only one objective – free, fair and transparent elections. I only request that all parties and leaders assist us in achieving this dream instead of making false and baseless allegations. Therefore, there is no need to dissolve it.”