Election Commission takes decisions fearlessly: CEC Sikandar Raja
Says if somebody gets upset by commission’s decisions, it’s his problem: Commission always ready to hold elections: ECO quorum completes as two new members administered oath
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The chief election commissioner has asserted that the Election Commission of Pakistan takes its decisions fearlessly, proclaiming if someone gets upset by these decisions, it’s his problem, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
While having an informal talk with media, CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja said on Wednesday that the Election Commission always took decisions according to the constitution and law ‘as everyone is our friend’.
He said that the ECP made its decisions without any fear vowing that it would continue doing so. “If somebody becomes angry with the ECP decisions, it’s his problem,” he added.
The opposition party, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, is not happy with the election commissioner accusing him of always showing tilt towards the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. The party held nationwide protests against the ECP on the call of its chief Imran Khan on April 26 for not de-notifying membership of the party’s dissident legislators.
However, the ECP de-notified 25 dissident MPAs of the PTI on May 23 after the verdict of the Supreme Court which rendered dissident members’ votes invalid while giving its interpretation of Article 63-A. .
The PTI again filed a petition in the Lahore High Court against the ECP for delaying notification of five MPAs on the reserved seats in Punjab Assembly.
The court, however, yesterday directed the Election Commission of Pakistan to issue a ruling by June 2 with regard to the notification of five MPAs on reserved seats in the Punjab Assembly.
The chief election commissioner told media that the former deputy speaker of National Assembly Qasim Suri did not send the case of PTI MNAs resignations to the ECP.
He further said that the hearing on foreign funding case was going on in the commission. He was of the view that all the parties must be provided a chance to clear their position. He remained tight-lipped about the outcome of the hearing, saying journalists were the best judge to discern themselves.
ECP always ready for election
CEC Raja said that the commission was always ready for elections. But it’s up to government to decide about the polls, he added.
“It’s our job to hold transparent and impartial elections,” Mr Raja asserted adding that the commission’s stance vis-à-vis population census was very clear. He said the commission was unable to carry out delimitations of constituencies unless the census report was officially published.
The 2017 census results were published in May 2021. The work on delimitations was started soon after the publication of census report.
He said that the government wanted to hold digital census. “If we get digital census results by Dec 2022, the delimitations of constituencies can be carried out on time,” he expressed his hope.
But in case of delay in the (digital) census results, the ECP will be compelled to hold elections with the same delimitations drawn on the basis of 2017 census results.
Two new ECP members administered oath
The chief election commissioner (CEC) Wednesday administered oath to the new members of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Babar Hassan Bharwana took the oath as ECP Punjab Member while Justice (retd) Ikramullah took the oath as ECP Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Member.
The chief election commissioner and other ECP members congratulated the new members.
The ECP quorum is now completed after the administration of the oath to the two new members, for the number of ECP members has increased to four.
It merits a mention here that the foreign funding case against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has been pending in the ECP due to incomplete quorum.
Reporter: Usman Khan