Groundswell of support: JI leader throws weight behind govt claim against ECP

Minister for public health engineering says PTI is ready to hold re-elections


Our Correspondent June 04, 2015
Inayatullah Khan talks to the media. PHOTO: NNI.

PESHAWAR: Reiterating the chief minister’s stance, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Inayatullah Khan has held the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) responsible for the chaos during the local government polls.

This was stated during a news conference at the Peshawar Press Club on Thursday.

“The government has accused the ECP of providing untrained staff at polling stations and neglecting errors on ballot papers,” he said.

According to Khan, who is also the minister for local government, the provincial government asked ECP to hold local government polls through a biometric system.

“However, ECP refused to do so,” he said. “The government believes the problems which came to pass after the polls were an outcome of the ECP’s failure to perform its responsibilities.”

Sticking points

Khan threw his weight behind the government’s concerns, saying it was the ECP’s responsibility to conduct elections while the provincial government can only facilitate the polling process.

“After the schedule was announced, it was the ECP’s responsibility to take charge and maintain control,” he said. “If 84,000 candidates were contesting polls, ECP should have increased the number of polling stations and deputed trained staff.”

The JI leader said the data for staff members was obtained from old lists.

“Some people who were assigned duties were no longer alive,” he said.  “Moreover, ECP did not take the education department on board before assigning teachers duties during the polls.”

Furthermore, Khan said ECP did not accept suggestions on how poll preparations could be improved.

He clarified that the provincial government was not involved in rigging.

Re-elections

According to a statement issued on Thursday, Minister for Public Health Engineering and Labour Shah Farman said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is ready to hold re-elections in the province.

“However, the decision to conduct re-elections should be taken by the election commission,” read the statement.

Farman said the rigging allegations were an outcome of mismanagement in the local bodies’ elections. He said all political parties should join hands on re-elections in the province. “I don’t know why political parties are not pressing for re-elections in K-P,” the statement said. “If they don’t make the demand, it would mean they have endorsed rigging.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2015.

 

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