ECP spokesperson sacked over ‘controversial’ remark

Haroon Shinwari announced elections within 60 days if assemblies dissolved, without 'higher authorities' directions'


Saqib Virk November 30, 2022

ISLAMABAD:

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday sacked its spokesperson Haroon Shinwari for issuing a statement “without directions from the higher authorities” regarding the holding of polls in case of dissolution of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assemblies by the PTI.

On Monday, Shinwari while responding to media, maintained that in case of dissolution of provincial assemblies, elections would be held in the respective provinces and not for the National Assembly.

He said that in the event of mass resignations in Punjab and K-P assemblies, the by-polls will be held within 60 days.

The statement came after PTI Chairman and former premier Imran Khan on Saturday announced the party’s decision to resign from provincial assemblies, most notably in Punjab and K-P where the party is in government, in a bid to exert pressure on the federal government to announce an early election date.

The ECP on Tuesday issued directives to remove Shinwari from the post of spokesperson, saying that he had responded to the media queries “without directions from the higher authorities”.

Sources maintained that Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja in a meeting issued directions to remove Shinwari from his post.

The beat reporters lodged their protest with the ECP secretary and noted that Shinwari had not said anything unconstitutional or illegal, adding that he would only have told the law.

They urged the polls supervisory body to review its decision and reinstate Shinwari on his position.

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