PTI files reference against CEC in Supreme Judicial Council
Seeks his removal from post for being biased against PTI
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Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday filed a reference in the Supreme Judicial Council, seeking removal of Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja from the post, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
It is pertinent to mention here that for the last several months, PTI has been viewing the role of the CEC with suspicion, with its leaders, particularly former prime minister and party Chairman Imran Khan, openly saying that they don’t trust him anymore due to some of his decisions which, according to the PTI, were biased and had been given to benefit the party’s opponents.
This is despite the fact that it was Imran, who had consented to the appointment of Raja as the CEC when he was the country’s prime minister.
In the reference, which PTI leader Ijaz Chaudhry filed through Babar Awan, the lawyer, it was stated that Raja had been appointed as the CEC in January 2020.
It was further stated that before the change of regime in April 2022, the country was heading in a right direction with Imran Khan as the prime minister. “But in March, 2022, a conspiracy to topple the PTI government came to light in the shape of a ‘cypher’. And when the government was at last toppled through a vote of no-trust, 123 PTI members of the National Assembly (MNAs) gave their resignations to register their protest against the ouster of their government as a result of a foreign conspiracy. But the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) did not accept these resignations,” the reference read.
It was further stated in the reference that phased acceptance of PTI MNAs’ resignations by the CEC was actually meant to benefit a particular political party.
The PTI contended that in a bid to please that party, the CEC had even forgotten that he had taken an oath of his office.
It was also written in the reference that the PTI had requested the ECP to simultaneously scrutinize the funds received by 17 political parties from abroad. “But the CEC set the foreign funding case of other parties aside, and pronounced a verdict against the PTI instead,” it read.
Furthermore, the reference said, the ECP did not postpone the second phase of the local bodies’ elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). “However, same was not the case with Punjab and Sindh where the election commission accepted the government’s request to put off the by-elections.”
It was pointed out in the reference that time and again, the PTI expressed its concern over the ‘biased’ behavior of the CEC.
“Since Raja has violated the oath of his office, he no longer deserves to be the CEC; therefore, he should be removed from the post,” the reference concluded.
Reporter: Rozeena Ali