A day after issuing a warning to the top polls body, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Sunday demanded resignations of National Database and Registration Authority’s (NADRA) chief and provincial members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) over their alleged role in rigging and irregularities during the 2013 general elections
“The provincial members of the ECP have no legal or moral authority to continue working and should immediately step down,” demanded the PTI chairman Imran Khan at a press conference after chairing a meeting of the party’s advisory council.
The advisory council had earlier passed three resolutions, condemning the Kasur child porn scandal and demanding resignations of NADRA chief and ECP’s provincial members.
The council met a day after an election tribunal gave verdict in favour of the PTI and declared election at NA-122 null and void – a development that had resulting in de-seating the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.
Imran claimed that the ECP’s provincial members were involved in rigging the polls, whereas NADRA chairman presented a flawed report to the election tribunal to save a candidate of the ruling PML-N.
He, however, clarified that he had nothing personal against Ayaz Sadiq. Imran also announced that he would not contest in the by-election at NA-122, where he was defeated by Sadiq in May 2013 polls.
“Those found involved in illegalities, irregularities and malpractices in 2013 polls as explained in the Judicial Inquiry Commission’s report should be taken actions against as they committed criminal offences,” he said.
Talking about the Judicial Inquiry Commission’s report on poll rigging and its decision –which the PTI had agreed in writing to accept – Imran said: “They [the JC] call it [rigging] a mismanagement but we consider it an organised rigging.”
Responding to a question, Imran said the PTI would consult its legal team before sending a reference to Supreme Judicial Council against the ECP members.
Imran reiterated that his party would wait for the ECP’s reply to his July 30 letter. “However, after three weeks, we will launch a protest movement against the ECP,” he said, adding that: “We are doing this for free and fair elections in future.”
Imran Khan, in a six-page letter to the ECP chief Sardar Raza Khan, had asked the commission to take action against those responsible for failures, breaches, and ‘illegalities’ in elections 2013 in the light of the Judicial Inquiry Commission’s report.
The PTI chief did not miss the opportunity to clarify that the PTI’s 126-day sit-in was not sponsored by the military establishment. He said it was an old practice of the PML-N to malign Pakistan’s armed forces. “We had made it clear from day-one that we would come out to streets if four constituencies were not reopened,” he added.
To a question about Muttahida Quami Movement’s (MQM) resignation from national legislatures, the PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the decision to stay in parliament was to be taken by the MQM. He said the speaker should adopt a legal procedure regarding the resignations and the decision should be acceptable to everyone.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 24th, 2015.
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