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Thursday, May 23, 2024

“CEC should resign” demands JI’s Senator

Senator Mushtaq Ahmad, in his address to the Senate, condemned the February 8 elections as the worst-ever marred by fake practices, declaring any resultant government as illegitimate.

During the second day of Parliament’s upper house session, Jamaat-i-Islami Senator Mushtaq Ahmad strongly urged Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja to step down from his position, emphasizing the need for proceedings under Article 6 of the Constitution, which pertains to high treason, to be initiated against him. His call came amidst a flurry of concerns raised by various senators regarding allegations of electoral fraud, particularly highlighted by former Rawalpindi commissioner Liaqat Ali Chattha’s recent press conference accusing the Election Commission of Pakistan and Chief Justice Qazi Faez Isa of involvement in rigging—an accusation refuted by both entities.

Joining the chorus of discontent, several political parties, including the PTI, JI, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazal, and Awami National Party, voiced grievances of being disenfranchised due to what they termed as “massive rigging”. Senator Mushtaq Ahmad, in his address to the Senate, condemned the February 8 elections as the worst-ever marred by fake practices, declaring any resultant government as illegitimate.

CEC should resign 

Asserting accountability, he demanded not only an apology from the Election Commission for its failure to uphold its constitutional mandate but also the resignation of the Chief Election Commissioner. He urged for the recovery of the substantial funds allocated for the elections, holding those accountable for rigging financially liable. Mushtaq Ahmad accused multiple state institutions—the ECP, caretaker government, judiciary, and establishment—of colluding to manipulate public mandates.

Citing constitutional obligations, the senator underscored the ECP’s responsibility to ensure elections’ fairness, transparency, and lawfulness, all of which he claimed were compromised in the February 8 polls. He advocated for trying the Election Commission under charges of high treason, citing gross violations of democratic principles.

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Highlighting the loss of credibility due to disruptions in mobile and internet services on election day, Mushtaq Ahmad painted a grim picture of a nation burdened by rising utility costs, attributing the financial strain to funding electoral processes.

Echoing concerns, PTI Senator Walid Iqbal criticized the non-implementation of parliamentary laws, suggesting that lawmakers should return home in light of the CEC’s failure to address election irregularities publicly. He questioned the rationale behind internet shutdowns during polling, especially when the process concluded during the daytime.