PAT decides to raise matter of unconstitutional composition of ECP in Supreme Court

Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) has again decided to take up the matters of powerless Chief Election Commissioner, unconstitutional appointment of provincial Chief Election Commissioners, and unconstitutional formation of the Election Commission in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. A committee under PAT Secretary General Khurram Nawaz Gandapur has been constituted to set up a panel of legal experts in this regard.

Talking to the leaders of the PAT Lawyers Wing, Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said that Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri staged a long-march against unconstitutionally composed Election Commission in 2013. He also moved a petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which the then Chief Justice dismissed without hearing the merits of the case. He said that had the former Chief Justice heard the petition heard the petition in discharge of his constitutional responsibilities without becoming a party to the case, neither had any questions been raised about the credibility and transparency of General Elections 2013 nor was mockery of the LG polls been made for six long years.

Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said that our point of view is that the appointment of all the four provincial Election Commissioners was not carried out in accordance with the Constitution but at the behest of the provincial governments and that these unconstitutional Election Commissioners are confined to fulfilment of desires of the provincial rulers. He said that if the appointments of the provincial Elections Commissioners have been made according to the Constitution, their record should be made public.

The PAT Secretary General said that all the four provincial Election Commissioners have unconstitutionally been appointed and that they are representatives of the provincial governments than being the subordinates of the Election Commission of Pakistan. He said that the Chief Election Commissioner is so helpless that he cannot transfer even an assistant without the concurrence of the provincial Election Commissioners. Nor can he sign any letter on his own. He said that no one is anyone’s boss within the organizational structure of the Election Commission, asking can an important constitutional body discharge its responsibilities in this way.

Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said that the provincial Election Commissioners have made the Chief Election Commissioner hostage and those political parties that are not part of the Parliament are facing a number of difficulties due to powerless Chief Election Commissioner. He said that at the heart of inordinate delay in the conduct of the local government institutions is a nexus between provincial Election Commissioners and the provincial governments. He said that the political culture of collusion and deal-making has rendered the whole political and democratic system dysfunctional.

Drawing attention of the PTI Chief Imran Khan, the PAT Secretary General said that merely threats of agitation are not enough to sort out this constitutional problem, adding that practical struggle is needed for it. He said that this struggle should be fought at political as well as legal fronts. ‘Otherwise, the mandate of the people will continue to be hijacked and no one will be able to stop the status quo forces from doing what they deem fit to do,” he added.

Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said that the PAT is the only political party, which staged a long march against the Election Commission in 2013, which is the mother of all defects of the democratic system, adding that we would now play our active political role as well.