“PM Imran was not elected but selected by the powers that be”, alleges Shehbaz Sharif


News Analysis | 

Shehbaz Sharif, president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), has once again questioned the legitimacy of the present government and General Elections 2018. The PML-N president was addressing a press conference alongside former premier Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal and Mariyum Aurangzeb. He has hit out at Prime Minister Imran Khan for not fulfilling his promise of forming a parliamentary body to investigate the alleged rigging in the general elections.

“On the day of the election for the prime minister, PM Imran assured me that a parliamentary commission will be formed to probe into opposition’s rigging allegations. However, three weeks have passed and a parliamentary commission has still not been formed,” Shehbaz lamented.

Since the vanquished political parties and politicians have started blaming the ECP for their defeat and termed the election as “massively rigged”, the ECP has responded in a strong worded presser.

He further maintained that the general elections 2018 were massively rigged. “PM Imran was not elected but came into power through rigging,” he added. Apart from rigging, Mr. Shehbaz also commented on the end on PM Laptop scheme, increase in gas and electricity prices and constructions of dams.

As a matter of fact, this is not the first time that a leader of political party is alleging that the elections were rigged and the present government does not have real mandate.

Read more: “We are not satisfied with your answer,” CJP tells Shehbaz Sharif

Political Parties cry foul over PTI’s win

Initially, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) complained that the results were deliberately delayed and Form 45 was not given to their agents present during the counting of votes. But the ECP rejected such claims and said those who were losing the contest were willingly leaving the place of counting.

The Presiding officers did not ask anyone to leave the office, he added.Later on, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, President of Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), has threatened to disrupt the political process in the country if the results of General Elections 2018 were not declared “null and void”.

The MMA president chaired a Multi-party conference (MPC) along with the president of PML-N Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad. The MPC was called by the MMA president who lost the elections.

Maulana seemed angry and frustrated due to his electoral defeat in his constituency. The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf got simple majority in KPK and whitewashed its rivals. MPC rejected the General Election 2018 and demanded ‘free and fair’ re-election across the country.

“The All Parties Conference has completely rejected the July 25, 2018 elections with consensus,” announced Rehman while addressing the media after the PML-N-hosted conference concluded. “We do not consider this election to be the mandate of the public,” said defeated MMA president.

Read more: Shehbaz Sharif, the knight in distress as PTI gallops towards victory

ECP clarified Elections were Free and Fair

On July 31st, the ECP Secretary Babar Yaqoob responded to all those political leaders who had to experience shocking defeats. “Voters exercised their right to vote in a free and fair atmosphere… It is against the basic principles of democracy to disrespect the Pakistani people’s mandate without any reason, or for politically motivated reasons,” the ECP official said.

Mr Babar also mentioned that the foreign observers have also said that these elections were held in a free and fair manner. The results of the elections are, therefore, “credible”, he concluded.

Moreover, he rejected claims made by political parties that they were not given a level playing field in the run-up to the elections. Mr. Yaqoob said that the ECP had taken all steps to ensure that all parties had equal opportunities to campaign for elections and had also used its authority whenever needed.

“On PML-N’s request, we asked NAB (National Accountability Bureau) not to arrest the party’s candidates while the election campaign was underway [so that] they would have a level playing field. NAB agreed to do so and assured us of its cooperation,” he explained.

Read more: Shehbaz Sharif presents PML-N’s manifesto; offers promises and hope

FAFEN Expresses Satisfaction over Election process

Some analysts in Pakistan and international media have been focusing on Pakistan elections, terming it as the dirtiest elections in the history of Pakistan. But the Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen) has expressed satisfaction over the July 25 election process.

The independent watchdog has said the elections were free, fair and transparent. Although there were minor irregularities in the electoral process, yet the overall election was free and fair, and, hence, its results are “credible”, it added.

Since the vanquished political parties and politicians have started blaming the ECP for their defeat and termed the election as “massively rigged”, the ECP has responded in a strong worded presser.

Those who could not make their ways to the National Assembly of Pakistan have been urged to wait for their turn and respect the people’s mandate. It is against the basic principles pf democracy if the ‘losers’ make an alliance and challenge the writ of the state. The ECP is an independent body which has been constitutionally empowered to hold elections without getting dictations from anybody.

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