Home Global Village Imran Khan’s public rally is the violation of ECP’s order

Imran Khan’s public rally is the violation of ECP’s order

Violation
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News Analysis |

Imran Khan addressed a rally in NA-154 Lodhran Constituency despite notification from Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for public office holders not to be present in public rallies, in this case, the February 12th by-election.

After the disqualification of Jahangir Tareen, his son Ali Tareen is contesting a much-anticipated by-election against nine-candidates including Iqbal Shah from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Ali Beg from Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

The seat was vacant post the disqualification of PTI Secretary General Jahangir Khan Tareen in December 15th verdict when Supreme Court of Pakistan stated,

“the respondent [Tareen] is declared not to be an honest person. He ceased to be a member of the parliament. The respondent is disqualified”.

Prior to the rally, ECP had prohibited the participation of Imran Khan and other parliamentarians in the constituency. Those present along with Imran Khan included Murad Saeed, Sheikh Rashid, and Shah Mehmood Qureshi.  ECP termed this act as the violation of its decision. It has issued a notice to Ali Khan Tareen and asked him to appear before the District Election Commissioner, through a counselor in person on February 11th. The notification claims,

“ECP expects political parties, their leadership, and candidates to comply with the code of conduct to increase public support for fair and transparent elections.”

PTI claims ECP’s move is politically motivated against Khan on a number of issues. They have also asked what was done about the federal and provincial ministers that went campaigning along with Maryam Nawaz, during the PML-N campaign for NA-120 in Lahore. Imran has been a vocal critic of the institutional involvement in alleged election rigging. Eventually, the friction between the two parties-PMLN and PTI has aggravated rather than settling their political differences with the passage of time. Imran has repeatedly criticized the ECP for failing to take necessary measures to address the structural problems; causing election rigging in Pakistan.

Read more: Imran Khan lashes out at FBR for failing to make necessary…

Imran Khan has publically criticized the PML-N Government since 2013 general elections and mobilized his supporters to come out to protest and call for transparent elections in future.  Recently, the ECP has refused, along with other Federal Departments, to accept the grant of €15 million from European Union (EU), this seems to indicate a lack of interest to bring reforms.

The grant was proposed for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and election monitoring bodies to improve the electoral process. The ECP believes that it has sufficient funds to conduct free and fair elections and does not need any external funding.

After the disqualification of Jahangir Tareen, his son Ali Tareen is contesting a much-anticipated by-election against nine-candidates including Iqbal Shah from Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Ali Beg from Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

According to the ECP, such a grant can have no impact on capabilities and effectiveness of the institution. ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob Malik said, “The ECP has nothing to do with the cancellation of this grant. The Federal Government has allocated the ECP a substantial amount of rupees 21 billion so we are fine.”

The external fund could have helped in training & development of officials of the Election Commission of Pakistan and to assist them in free, fair and transparent elections in Pakistan. There is a perception that by accepting this fund it may challenge the sovereignty and security of the country.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif takes a jab at Imran Khan and PTI

Shambolic thought to undertake reforms under ‘Election Act of 2017’

Under the Pervaiz Musharraf regime candidates were required to take an oath for the payments of their loans, taxes and utility bills. This practice continued during 2002, 2008 and 2013 general elections.

After ousting of Nawaz Sharif, under new legislation (‘Election Act of 2017’), it is no longer mandatory for election candidates to declare themselves, their spouses, and dependents as they have paid their taxes and their utility bills.

Eventually the friction between the two parties-PMLN and PTI has aggravated rather than settling their political differences with the passage of time.

Under the previous law, incomes and assets of elected representatives were readily available online which facilitated swift accountability. The steps taken by the powerful political mafia has now curbed the public disclosure of tax status and loan defaults and reduced the power of the ECP to scrutinize the candidates. The case contesting ‘Election Act of 2017’ is in Apex Court and is currently under debate.

Read more: Imran Khan urges Pakistan to reject aid and focus on trade

 


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