2018 polls discredited state institutions: Bilawal

PPP chairman says people will mark July 25 as black day in coming days


Our Correspondent July 25, 2020
Bilawal addresses a news conference in Islamabad. SCREENGRAB

ISLAMABAD:

On the second anniversary of July 25, 2018 general election, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has reiterated that the polls which paved the way for the PTI to form the federal government were highly rigged and that they discredited the state institutions which oversaw the polling process.

“The 2018 polls were the most controversial in the country’s history. The nation will mark this day as a ‘black day’. If there were no coronavirus pandemic, all the political parties would be protesting on roads on this day,” Bilawal said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Saturday.

According to the PPP chairman, the controversial polls also made the state institutions controversial. “The state institutions [that oversaw the polls] had never been as controversial as they became after July 25th polls. A selected government emerged as a result of the election.

“The election results had no legal worth. On that day [July 25, 2018], the polling officers had been forced to leave the polling stations. People now understand the importance of Form-45 in polls but 90% of 2018 polls Forms-45 are either missing or lacked polling officers’ signatures,” he claimed.

He said the security forces personnel could be deployed outside polling stations for security reasons. “But what was the legal and constitutional justification for deploying security forces personnel inside the polling stations during the 2018 polls?” he asked.

Apparently addressing the army, the PPP chairman said: “When you were present inside and outside the polling stations during the polls and were present at the time of form submission and other [election] processes, you are bound to become controversial.”Graft allegations

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari reiterated his claim that the PTI government whose election slogan was transparency is “the most corrupt government in the country’s history”.

He referred to recent flour, sugar and oil crises as well as delays in completion of Peshawar’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project and quoted a Transparency International report, according to which, he claimed, the country had never witnessed a more corrupt government in the past.

Kulbushan Jadhav

The PPP chairman once again lambasted the government for “secretly” passing a presidential ordinance, allowing a convicted Indian spy, Kulbhushan Jadhav, the right to appeal against his death sentence in a high court.
“The government repeatedly says it would not offer any NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance] to opposition leaders but it has already offered an NRO to the Indian spy. The people who were supposed to represent the Kashmiris are now advocating Kulbhushan,” he said.

He said it was an established rule that an ordinance had to be presented in parliament as soon as the parliamentary session started. However, the government by not presenting the ordinance in the parliament violated the law.
“If there is nothing objectionable in the ordinance then why the government is hiding it? If they had presented it for discussion, we would tell them that person-specific legislation cannot be done”.

Failed promises

The PPP chief said that the PTI government had failed to deliver on even a single of its promises. “The PTI had claimed to build 5 million houses and create 10 million jobs. But it has rather rendered hundreds of thousands of people jobless while the economic growth is now in negative.

“The government was to change the PM House and governor houses into universities; it was also supposed to depoliticise police; however, it has failed in fulfilling any of its promises,” he added.

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