ISLAMABAD: Jamaat-e-Islami(JI) Pakistan, Wednesday, while accusing the chief election commissioner (CEC) of failing to hold free and fair polls in the country has asked the CEC to immediately resign, apologise to the nation and give details of Rs50 billion spent on elections.

Addressing a press conference here, JI Chief Siraj-ul-Haq while reaffirming his party’s commitment to the pursuit of civilian supremacy, emphasised the urgent need for the resignation of the CEC in response to severe allegations of election rigging.

He underscored the demand for an impartial judicial commission to thoroughly investigate allegations of election rigging, saying only in Karachi JI’s mandate in National Assembly (NA) constituencies was stolen.

The people of Karachi entrusted JI but the authorities deprived the people of their true representation while manipulating the results. He said not only political parties but the US government has also called for investigations into the alleged rigging in polls.

He argued that true independence in the inquiry could only be achieved with the resignation of the CEC and stressed the importance of including political party representation in the proposed commission.

He said elections in the past have brought stability while this time around it has further strengthened unrest and division. The election authorities must respect the mandate of the people as ECP failed to announce results as per Form 45 while it “manufactured the results” on the basis of Form 47. He also flayed the suspension of mobile services, saying it made election results further doubtful. He demanded that the government must explain why mobile services were shut down.

He contended that a government established on the grounds of a stolen mandate would not effectively serve the country’s interests. He expressed concerns about the prospect of perpetuating the dominance of two political dynasties that had held power for decades, attributing issues such as unemployment, inflation, and lawlessness to their prolonged rule.

Highlighting the JI’s stance, Haq announced the party’s intent to host a “Save the Democracy Conference” in Islamabad on February 26. He asserted that the JI’s mandate had been unfairly taken, and the party would employ all legal and democratic means to reclaim it, vowing not to compromise on the sanctity of the vote.

Haq criticised the failure of key institutions, including the establishment, judiciary, and election commission, to remain apolitical and meet the nation’s expectations. He expressed disappointment in the civil bureaucracy, funded by the taxes of Pakistan’s poor, for not respecting the public mandate.

Addressing the election process, Haq decried its conduct, stating that it had made a mockery of democracy on a global scale. He pledged not to remain silent in the face of blatant rigging, expressing regret that the initial hope for stability post-elections had been shattered due to widespread result manipulation.

Haq observed that while elections typically bring stability in most countries, Pakistan’s experience has been marked by planned rigging arrangements in each of the 12 national polls, eroding public faith in democracy and inviting prolonged martial laws.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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