‘Lost mandate’: Elahi demands probe into rigging allegations

Published: May 10, 2014
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The former chief minister demanded a high-powered judicial commission for investigating the rigging allegations. PHOTO: INP

The former chief minister demanded a high-powered judicial commission for investigating the rigging allegations. PHOTO: INP

LAHORE: 

“The Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid is a victim of mass rigging…we lost nine National Assembly seats by a very slim margin,” PML-Q Punjab president Chaudhry Pervez Elahi said at a press conference on Friday.

The former chief minister demanded a high-powered judicial commission for investigating the rigging allegations. He ‘revealed’ key players involved in orchestrating the rigging: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif, former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry and a judge that he refrained from naming; and the modus operandi of how “they stole our mandate”. He said caretaker chief minister Najam Sethi was not involved in rigging.

“The PML-Q supports Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Tahirul Qadri in their stance against poll rigging and their pledge to reform the electoral system,” Elahi said.

The modus operandi

The chief election commissioner (CEC) had two major responsibilities in the May 11 elections, Elahi said. The first was to organise and conduct free and fair elections and the second was to announce the election results. “Unfortunately, he did neither,” said the PML-Q leader.

Elahi also criticised former chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s “unconstitutional meddling” in the affairs of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) during the May 2013 elections.

Fakhruddin G Ebrahim, the CEC at the time, invited leaders of all political parties to the ECP office where he assured them that no institution would be allowed to intervene in election matters. “But the very next month, ex-CJP Chaudhry wrote a letter to returning officers and visited returning officers and addressed their gatherings,” Elahi said. “This was unconstitutional.”

The PML-Q leader alleged that Justice Chaudhry was not the only the “external authority” to interfere in the ECP’s affairs. “Even before all the votes were counted, Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif announced their party’s victory…thereby relaying a message to the returning officers to grant them a clear victory,” Elahi claimed.

He asked why Justice Chaudhry had distributed shields and awards among retuning officers after the elections when they had only performed the tasks assigned to them. “The CEC resigned immediately after the elections because he was disappointed by the extra-constitutional meddling,” said the PML-Q leader.

According to a report by the Free and Fair Election Network several polling stations had been shuffled only three days before the election, affecting the polling in 93 National Assembly seats, Elahi said. “Only the election commission can elaborate on the facts behind the mass rigging during the election,” he added.

He refuted Imran Khan’s claim that Sethi had been reappointed as Pakistan Cricket Board chairman to reward him for fixing elections in 35 constituencies.

Elahi said Sethi’s role had been transparent and neutral and he did not have the power to influence the election as all such powers were in the hands of the chief election commissioner.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Naeem Khan
    May 14, 2014 - 5:45PM

    How funny, he was the Dy. Prime Minister when the ECP was constituted and the interim set up was made. It was all their choice. Now to hide theier misdeeds they are blaming even the Supreme Court. They are rejected items.Recommend

  • Ch. Fakhar Zaman
    May 21, 2014 - 1:17PM

    They are power hungry vultures they don’t reember nything but lust f9r power.

    Recommend

  • Ch. Fakhar Zaman
    May 21, 2014 - 1:21PM

    They sre greedy vultire and they don’t remember anything but lust for power for which they can polish Iran’s shoes.Recommend

  • Ahmad Khan
    May 26, 2014 - 10:14AM

    Where did his father, a police constable accumulated all this wealth? Still a mystery.Recommend

  • i4shad
    Jun 1, 2014 - 6:05AM

    IK… for the sake of power do not associate with shady characters…. as they say man is known by the company he keeps

    Recommend

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