Home News Analysis Election Rigging: Parliamentary Committee formed

Election Rigging: Parliamentary Committee formed

parliamentary committee

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The president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Shahbaz Sharif on Monday put forward the names of the four-member team to a parliamentary committee that was set up to investigate allegations of rigging in the July 25 general elections.

Welcoming the parliamentary commission on alleged discrepancies in the last general election, the opposition leader pledged to give his maximum cooperation to the commission. The PML-N has named Ahsan Iqbal, Murtaza Javed Abbasi Rana Tanveer, and Rana Sanaullah as its four-member in the parliamentary committee.

On September 18, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government had agreed to form a parliamentary committee on the opposition’s demand to investigate the accusations of election rigging. The parliamentary committee has the proportionate/equal representation from both government and the opposition. In spite of opposition demands, the incumbent government decided to lead the committee itself citing the historical examples, when such committee was led by the Treasury member.

ECP uploaded the Form-45 on its website and attempted to play down the controversy. Nevertheless, the opposition parties are not satisfied, which is natural given the fact that status-quo is broken by a third force.

On September 08, Shahbaz Sharif had threatened to disrupt the parliamentary proceedings until the formation of a commission to probe the alleged rigging. PPP’s chairman Bilawal Bhutto warned the government that his party won’t allow the government to “whitewash” the matter.

Both opposition and the government are yet to decide on terms of reference (ToR) and the time frame to probe the alleged rigging on Election Day. The opposition leader lashed out at the PTI government and termed it a product of rigging, and not the votes. He claimed that there was no second opinion on the fact that the PTI came into power after stealing the people’s mandate.

Read more: What is the reality to the rigging allegations for July 25,…

The former Chief Minister of Punjab attempted to leave the impression on the assembly floor that the PTI fooled the public in a disguise of the “harbinger of change”. He bashed the government for increasing the gas prices and importing the advisors—who are close friends of few. It was surprising to see that Shahbaz attack the government position on CPEC when treasury did not even touch the sums allocated by previous Finance Minister Mifta Ismail.

After the July 25 elections, all the losing parties joined hands to constitute a platform and announced a Grand opposition Alliance. This alliance termed the election the biggest fraud in the history of Pakistan.

In spite of opposition demands, the incumbent government decided to lead the committee itself citing the historical examples, when such committee was led by the Treasury member.

A Controversial Election Night?

On Election Night, after a brief period of uninterrupted communication, the results from thousands of polling stations situated across the country had suddenly stopped. All night, the media channels and observers waited for the results, which made the whole election process suspicious. After midnight, when opposition parties had already questioned the transparency of elections, the Election commission of Pakistan held the breakdown of Result Transmission System (RTS) responsible for the delay.

Read more: TLP gears up to protest against Election Day rigging

Both ECP and NADRA held each other responsible for the debacle after NADRA stirred a controversy by announcing that RTS had not crashed. Since NADRA had developed the system and was responsible for its functioning, ECP held failure of RTS responsible for the fiasco. The independent observers were largely satisfied with the elections and did not report rigging on Election Day.

After the July 25 elections, all the losing parties joined hands to constitute a platform and announced a Grand opposition Alliance. This alliance termed the election the biggest fraud in the history of Pakistan.

Opposition parties repeatedly demanded the resignation of the chairman of ECP for negligence. But, ECP is adamant that it was not at fault. The speculations are rife that there were some elements within NADRA—who may have colluded with the previous regime to make the election process controversial. On the contrary, the opposition parties hold military establishment responsible for election rigging and consider PTI-led coalition government a product of a plan prepared in GHQ and orchestrated by ECP to bring PTI in power.

Read more: Shahbaz Sharif demands Parliamentary committee probe into election rigging

ECP uploaded the Form-45 on its website and attempted to play down the controversy. Nevertheless, the opposition parties are not satisfied, which is natural given the fact that status-quo is broken by a third force. Thus far, any explanation from government and, ECP is yet to appease the opposition. It has welcomed the formation of a parliamentary committee, and the Government has promised a transparent probe.


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