ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday rejected and condemned the demand for the resignation of the chief election commissioner made earlier by political parties.
The All Parties Conference on Monday had demanded the resignation of Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Sardar Muhammad Raza Khan after claiming that the polls were rigged and 'engineered'. However, dismissing all allegations, ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob said that if anyone has reservations, the Constitution allows them to raise the matter on relevant forums.
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Yaqoob also said the ECP expects all candidates to respect the country's vote and to accept the polls as they are. "Not only must the election results be accepted but steps must be taken to continue the process of democracy. The elections were held on time. A huge number of voters exercised their vote," he added.
Yaqoob further said that 30,000 observers were present and stated in their initial reports that the process was free, fair and transparent. "The commission provided all political parties with a level-playing field, The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) requested not to arrest PML-N workers during the elections, we aided that. Similarly, in NA-60, the commission suspended the election in the constituency so no party remains incapable of participation."
PML-N's NA-60 candidate Hanif Abbasi was disqualified days before the general elections. While Awami Muslim League's Sheikh Rasheed submitted petitions to hold the election as per schedule, the commission and judges decided to postpone polls in the constituency.
"For the first time in history, polling stations were observed, it was the first election where women's participation as voters were appreciated, all electoral equipment were of good quality and a trained staff of 800,000 was also present," said the top ECO official.
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The judiciary provided returning officers in 849 constituencies with the exception of one or two, and all 70 complaints received were dealt with accordingly, he added. "The commission has also summoned replies from officials to state the reason for the delay in results."I
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