Tuesday Nov 23 2021

Ministers advise PM Imran Khan against confronting ECP: sources

  • Ministers advise PM Imran Khan to adopt a consultative approach with ECP, say sources.
  • "An impression exists that the government is against the ECP," sources quote ministers as saying.
  • Inter-ministerial committee to meet CEC, say sources. 

ISLAMABAD: The government's ministers have advised Prime Minister Imran Khan to adopt a more consultative approach with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) rather than confront the commission, sources told Geo News Tuesday. 

The prime minister presided over a federal cabinet meeting during which the government's recent tensions with the ECP were discussed. Sources said the ministers present in the meeting requested the premier to review the government's policy towards the ECP.

They recommended the government move forward in consultations with the ECP rather than confronting it.

"There is an impression that the government is against the ECP," the ministers said reportedly during the meeting.

According to sources, the ministers said that the PTI-led government deserves credit for approving the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) for the next general elections and granting the right to vote to overseas Pakistanis 

ECP's 'strange reasons'

Last week, the premier had wondered why the election commission had opposed the EVMs, as it was their job to conduct free, fair, and transparent elections in the country.

"They provided strange reasons: What if there is no electricity in Balochistan, what if this happens, what if that happens," the premier had said, quoting ECP officials.

"Do they know what happens in the [traditional mode] of elections? Ballot papers are double stamped; the results arrive after 24 hours," he had said.

The only solution (for instant results) are EVMs, he had said.

The prime minister had stated reforms are always met by opposition as they go against the "corrupt elements' vested interest".

The government is responsible for bringing electoral reforms, he said, reminding everyone that PTI had staged a 126-day sit-in in 2014 to push for reforms.

"We wanted to bring reforms so that the next elections would be fair," he had maintained.