While dismissing the demand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the provincial members of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) have refused to step down. Sources said the members of ECP were of the view that the commission was not involved in alleged vote rigging in the general elections 2013 and their resignations would strengthen the perception that they rigged the previous elections; hence they should not resign.
The members further said that PTI’s demand is against the Representation of People Act 1976 and is unjust. A PTI delegation led by Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi met the new Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Raza Khan on Wednesday and expressed confidence in him. However, PTI Vice Chairman said that his party has no trust in other members of the ECP. Similar reservations were also expressed by PPP about the four members of the commission. Opposition leader in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah endorsed the PTI’s demand at a press conference and said that ECP members should resign.
Sources maintained that the ECP members pleaded that these are constitutional posts; hence in case any person has any objection, he or she have the right to move the Supreme Judicial Council – the forum to sack the members of commission. The members, appointed in June 2011, will complete their constitutionally mandated five-year-term in mid-2016. The constitutional method to remove superior court judges applies to these members through the Supreme Judicial Council. According to Article 213, the CEC or a member will not be removed from office except in the manner prescribed in Article 209.
Sources further said the members of the commission are of the view that PPP is exacting revenge over ECP’s suo motu in the Waheeda Shah case. Waheeda Shah was disqualified by election authorities for slapping the polling official during by-polls for Sindh provincial assembly seat PS-53.
SOURCE: RECORDER REPORT