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ISLAMABAD: Faced with the ire of the legal fraternity and political forces over its alleged mishandling of issues related to general elections, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has claimed that its Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja has the “unflinching confidence” of the ECP members— and that the commission’s decisions are taken with mutual consultation.

“ECP takes all decision with mutual consultation keeping in view the legal requirements— all the four members of the ECP have expressed their unflinching confidence on chief election commissioner,” the poll body said in a statement on Thursday.

The statement; however, did not mention the context in which it was issued. Conspicuously, the unusual press release comes at a time when the top lawyer bodies, as well as, mainstream political parties have lambasted the ECP over issues concerning the general elections.

On Tuesday, Supreme Court Bar Association, Pakistan Bar Council, Punjab Bar Council and Sindh High Court Bar Association voiced serious concerns over the role of the incumbent CEC in dealing with the electoral affairs, in the separate statements issued by them.

The SCBA even demanded the resignation of CEC Raja. “The SCBA believes that… the present CEC should go home, as fair and impartial elections with equal opportunity for all are not possible under his command,” it said in a statement.

The PBC indicated that it was all set to launch lawyers’ movement in the coming days, in coordination with SCBA, in order to push for free and fair general elections in the country.

Apart from that, ECP is facing mounting criticism from mainstream political parties including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Pakistan People’s Party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan, Jamaat-e-Islami and Awami National Party over alleged denial of level playing field to them in the wake of upcoming general elections.

The poll body, Wednesday, said that it expected from the general public to assist it for “providing peaceful and level playing field to all the political parties and contesting candidates.”

“The general public is also expected to assist the election commission for effective implementation of code of conduct and violation of any aforesaid provisions, if any, may be brought to the notice of Election Commission of Pakistan for providing peaceful and level playing field to all the political parties and contesting candidates,” states the code of conduct for political parties issued by the ECP on Wednesday.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Parvez Dec 22, 2023 12:15pm
Birds of a feather always flock together.
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