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September 8, 2018

Fazl’s demand of CEC resignation undemocratic: ECP

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September 8, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday regretted the reported demand of JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman that the Chief Election Commissioner should resign, saying disrespecting the public mandate for personal interests was a negation of democratic principles.

Maulana Fazl, who is also President of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, during a news conference a day earlier, castigated the ECP and claimed that all political parties had expressed their reservations about the transparency of July 25 general election. He had also claimed that political parties hadn’t accepted the result and there was still time for the chief election commissioner to accept his failure and step down.

“The tradition of putting pressure on the state institutions by leveling such allegations should be put to an end now. The ECP is a constitutional body and will not accept such pressure,” he made it clear.

The firebrand veteran Maulana Fazl had contested the presidential election on September 4: the electoral college for the president’s election is the Senate, the National Assembly and the four provincial legislatures. He failed in his bid and was runner’s up in the election, which was won by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and its allied parties’ candidate Dr Arif Alvi.

A spokesperson of the election commission rejected outright the JUI-chief’s demand and condemned it. “Such statements on free, fair and impartial elections are regrettable and in contradiction to facts,” he emphasised.

He contended that during the 2018 general election, the public exercised their right to vote in a free environment and to disrespect people’s mandate without any evidence was in negation to fundamental principles of democracy.

The ECP spokesperson pointed out that to settle electoral issues, the commission had already appointed 20 election tribunals, which are headed by judges of the high courts. “If any candidate has a complaint, he can file a petition as per the laid down procedure for its redressal,” he maintained.

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