Saturday Jul 09, 2022
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday strongly condemned what it called "baseless allegations" levelled against the chief election commissioner (CEC) by PTI Chairman Imran Khan, saying no institution becomes treasonous simply with an edict issued against it, The News reported.
The PTI chairman levelled new allegations against CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja in Khushab, terming him a "traitor", and the ECP spokesperson reacted angrily. He stated that the ECP "will continue to make decisions in accordance with the Constitution and the law, without fear or favour".
He also issued a statement in response to PTI Secretary General Asad Umar's news conference, during which the party leader launched a barrage of allegations against the electoral body.
“The media-driven vote registration statements are baseless and contrary to the reality. It is a gross propaganda technique by which the people are being misled. The Election Commission is committed to conducting transparent and peaceful elections in 20 supplementary constituencies in collaboration with other institutions and this will be ensured,” he said.
Earlier in the day, in his news conference, Umar warned that the country would move towards a "difficult situation" if the public perceived the ECP was not doing justice or becoming a silent spectator when the law was violated during the upcoming by-elections in Punjab. The PTI leader alleged that "interference" was afoot to change the results of the upcoming by-polls. He blamed the government for allegedly changing voter lists and using state machinery to benefit ex-PTI candidates the ruling parties were backing.
Umar asked the party workers to fully prepare for the upcoming elections and remarked: “Whatever they do, the PTI will win with a big majority on July 17. Once Punjab goes out of their (the government’s) hands, what will the imported prime minister do in Islamabad? We are heading towards new elections”.
He then came down hard on the electoral body and "advised" it to allot itself an election symbol as well since it was "behaving like a political party". He claimed that it was clear that the PTI was "leading prominently" in all the constituencies they had visited, as he cited polls.
The PTI leader contended that it was not surprising, especially with the "extraordinary increase in Imran Khan’s popularity" in the last few months. He said the most welcome aspect was that support was coming from all the different societal sectors, from the lowest-earning ones to the most educated. "We are witnessing the nation uniting."
He said it was "obvious" and the "fake" government could also see that. He noted the by-elections will be held on 17th and then chief minister’s election will be held on July 22, after which "this story will be concluded but they (rulers) are not ready to go away so easily".
The PTI leader claimed that ‘"direct calls" were being made from assistant commissioners and deputy commissioners to officials in Punjab.
“Our people are being threatened and FIRs are being registered. However, the most dangerous thing is illegally registering votes. We have filed a petition. Individual petitions have already been filed but the ECP has not taken any action. The law clearly says votes cannot be changed once election date is announced but contrary to it, new votes were registered in electoral rolls. They are mostly those whose temporary or permanent addresses do not fall in that constituency and it is a test for the ECP and courts,” he noted.