ECP responds to PM 's remarks, says it can't ignore Constitution to please anyone

ECP responds to PM 's remarks, says it can't ignore Constitution to please anyone

Islamabad (Web Desk): The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday rejected Prime Minister Imran Khan’s criticism and expressed disappointment over his cabinet members’ statement regarding corruption during Senate elections on Islamabad seat.

In a written statement, the ECP said that the polls were held as per the law and Constitution.

The electoral body said that it has "never come under any sort of pressure and God willing, will not in future as well".

"We cannot ignore the law and the Constitution to please anyone," the ECP statement said.

"Anyone with an objection on the directions or decisions of the commission should take a constitutional course, and let the authority operate independently."

"This is democracy and free elections and the beauty of free elections which the entire nation saw and which is mandated by the Constitution."

Every political party and politician should have the courage to accept defeat, it said.

The electoral body said that if someone disagreed with the ECP's results, they should come forward with evidence.

"If we can listen to your recommendations, why can't we listen to your complaints? Do not sling mud at us. Have some consideration."

The statement came after a meeting of the ECP was held to discuss the remarks made by PM Imran during an address to the nation.

During his speech the premier had held the electoral body responsible for corruption in Senate polls.

He had criticised the ECP for not taking measures to ensure transparent polling and held it responsible for the illegal practice of buying and selling of votes as it did not introduce traceable ballots.

PM Imran had said that the electoral body could have employed latest technology in order to know the turncoats in Senate elections.

Later, speaking to the media along with Federal Information Minister Shibli Faraz and Senator-elect Barrister Ali Zafar after the commission’s statement rejecting PM Imran’s allegation, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said that the prime minister and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) respect the ECP and all the institutions of Pakistan.

He said that the institutions show their independence through their actions and not through press releases.

“It is irresponsible to issue a press release on prime minister’s stance,” Fawad said.

The minister said that the responsibility to make elections free and fair was not fulfilled in the Senate elections held on Wednesday.

“This is not a thing to be upset about, but measures need to be taken,” he said.

Fawad Chaudhry said that PM Imran meant that the government and the ECP should work together to “develop a mechanism that will stop rigging” and ensure free and fair elections.

“I want to assure the chief election commissioner (CEC) and members that we want to see you strong,” the federal minister said.