Friday August 12, 2022

ECP rubbishes PTI’s bypolls rigging allegations

The ECP rejected allegations about planned rigging in the upcoming byelections in 20 constituencies of Punjab

June 15, 2022
The ECP building in Islamabad. Photo: The ECP website
The ECP building in Islamabad. Photo: The ECP website 

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Tuesday strongly refuted what it described as baseless and irresponsible allegations about planned rigging in the upcoming byelections in 20 constituencies of Punjab.

The ECP issued a statement within 24 hours after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in his latest tirade against the Election Commission, particularly its chief Sikandar Sultan Raja, accused him of meeting and taking weekly instructions from both Chief Minister Punjab Hamza Shehbaz and PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz. The incumbent chief election commissioner was appointed during the stint of the PTI government of Imran Khan and he had full faith in him. However, with the eight-year-old PTI foreign funding case nearing its conclusion at the Election Commission, Imran and other PTI leaders have stepped up criticism of the electoral body and its chief.

The ECP said, "In the past few days, there have been allegations of baseless and irresponsible allegations against the Election Commission and the Chief Election Commissioner by some political figures on the media continuously. The Election Commission strongly condemns and denies these allegations. “The Commission has made proper arrangements for transparent elections in 20 constituencies of Punjab as was done in the municipal elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, and the Election Commission not only took immediate notice of the disruption of polling and illegal action in these elections but also took full action against influential people without any hesitation. And will continue to do so in all elections in the future.”

The Election Commission denied the impression that voters have been deliberately shifted remotely and the constituency has also been changed even though byelections in 20 constituencies in Punjab are being held on the existing electoral rolls and constituencies while the non-final electoral rolls for the 2023 general elections have been placed in display centres to ensure registration of all voters and data entry free of errors. The Election Commission said it assures voters that byelections in 20 constituencies of Punjab will be transparent and as per prevailing law and no one should doubt it, and legal action will be taken against the violators.

“It is expected that all political parties will avoid such baseless allegations in the future,” the Election Commission maintained.