Provincial members of ECP playing the role of ‘facilitator’ of ruling party: PAT

PAT Secretary General Khurram Nawaz Gandapur has said that the provincial members of the Election Commission are playing the role of ‘facilitators’ of the ruling party. He said that the date for submission of party tickets has been extended from September 11 to September 30 for the candidates of the LG polls on the desire of the PML-N. He said that following announcement of the schedule of local bodies, the change in dates of the LG polls is creating ambiguity. He said that difficulties are being created in our way as the political party. He said that change in the dates seems to be a step towards pre-poll rigging based on ill will without any assigning any reason. He said that we are writing a protest letter to the Chief Election Commissioner against these unilateral decisions.

Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said that the PML-N government is cooking up lame excuses to postpone the LG polls despite manifest ruling of the Supreme Court, adding that the use of delaying tactics is link in the same chain. He said that the ruling party is being helped fully by the provincial members of the Election Commission in this regard as is manifest from the manner in which they are taking decisions under the influence of the party. He said that this conduct of the provincial members is not acceptable at any cost. He said that we want to know as to why the dates are being changed against the schedule without taking the political parties into confidence. He further said that ill intention was shown by including the Hajj and Eid holidays and those of the holy month of Moharram in the days meant for electoral campaign. He said that the minorities, youth and women were deprived of their right to direct franchise in violation of the Constitution and Section 10 of Local Government Ordinance was breeched in the delimitation of the constituencies. He said that the Election Commission of Pakistan played the role of a silent spectator in this whole process.

The PAT Secretary General warned that in the presence of the current provincial members of the ECP, fair and free LG polls are not possible and there will be question marks over the entire exercise in the same way as gross irregularities and the worst rigging took place during the General Elections in 2013.

Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, while commenting on the letter the Judge of the Election Tribunal for NA-122 wrote to the Federal Information Minister, said that the PML-N ministers are known for hurling threats when they are handed down unfavourable decisions. He said that they try to bulldoze the Constitution, attack judges and the courts. He said that the ministers do not adopt this kind of attitude on their own, adding that they get encouragement from the top leadership of the party in this regard. He said that we see when the action is taken against the government on the basis of the letter written by the Judge of the Election Tribunal.