• Judicial Commission gives us clean chit: ECP

      July 25, 2015
      Print : Top Story

      ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday claimed the General Elections 2013 Inquiry Commission (Judicial Commission) had vindicated its claim that no organised rigging was done in the last general election.

      Talking to a group of media persons here, Director General (Elections) Syed Sher Afgan said that the findings of the Inquiry Commission had in fact supported the Election Commission’s viewpoint on the nature and conduct of elections.

      He said the ECP would introduce electoral reforms soon so that the process might be made fair and transparent.However, he emphasised that the appointment of a massive number of returning officers and presiding officers was itself a huge exercise and that the performance of the presiding officers was not up to the mark.

      He said the Election Commission would do its utmost to address the shortcomings that had been pointed out by the Inquiry Commission in its findings and added the commission report would guide them in doing so.

      Sher Afghan claimed that the next general election to be held in 2018 would be far better managed and there would be hardly any complaints about the electoral exercise.To question, he also said that in the light of the commission’s report, electoral reforms would also be carried out and the law and methodology would be improved further.

      Meanwhile, the ECP is most likely to approach the Supreme Court (SC) for more time for holding the local bodies (LB) election in Sindh and the Punjab, mainly due to flash floods and related engagements of the officials in these provinces.

      The ECP sources told ‘The News’ that the commission would have its meeting on July 27 (Monday) to review the entire scenario and the provincial government’s preparations on this count and then take a decision, but insisted apparently, in principle, it was quite likely that the forum would seek deferring of the electoral exercise.

      Earlier, the proposed LB elections, the first ever in the Islamabad Capital Territory have been postponed in view of the non-availability of the local government law.“Flash floods and rains have created a difficult situation and the officials in Sindh and Punjab, who are to perform duties as district returning officers and returning officers, are and will be busy with dealing with situation caused by floods,” they pointed out.

      The ECP has been asked by the Supreme Court to hold the electoral exercise in the two provinces on September 20.Already, the Sindh government has written a letter to the ECP, requesting it to hold local bodies’ polls in the province in three phases and the Punjab government also wants elections in phases.

      Sources noted the provincial governments were of the view that holding of elections in phases would lead to better arrangement of the polls and avoid mismanagement witnessed in the polls in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

      The ECP had earlier prepared a plan to hold the polls in the two provinces in phases, but the Supreme Court had rejected the plan and directed the commission to conduct the elections on a single day (Sept 20).