The rift between the government and Election Commission of Pakistan is getting severe with every coming day as both the sides are not ready to step back on the issue of Electronic Voting machines (EVMs).
In recent development, the PTI led government urged the two ECP members to come forward and review the decisions of Chief Election Commissioner. The demand was put by the Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry in a press conference on Sunday.
He revealed that since the members from Punjab and KPK were still not appointed, the ECP should not make fundamental decisions including the delimitation of the constituencies. Fawad further added that the CEC’s conduct seemed to be quite political therefore he should step down on immediate basis.
Chief Election Commissioner should step down from his position and get into politics, Fawad Chaudhry said
Commenting on the role of CEC, Fawad regretted that it should have been unbiased however both the opposition and CEC were using the same language in connection with the objections to the proposed electoral reforms.
The minister blamed that the ECP had ‘excluded’ all the supporting arguments in favour of voting machines which clearly proved that the CEC was against the reforms. He urged the CEC to stay away from the disputed stuff or resign and get into politics.
Remarking on the notices from ECP to him and Azam Swati, Fawad said that the Supreme Court of Pakistan had issued clear directives to use technology in Senate polls held in March however the CEC was not ready to use technology in the general elections; thus a contempt petition could be filed against the CEC in this connection.
Talking about the ECP members walk out from the meetings on EVMs, the information minister said that such behavior was not adopted anywhere. He mentioned that the federal cabinet was trying to handle the things with patience despite of facing personal attacks on them.
Next elections would be held only after the inception of electoral reforms, Information Minister claimed
He categorically announced that the government would ultimately get the election bills passed by the joint session of the parliament and that the next elections would not be organized until the induction of electoral reforms. He added that the parliament would decide the process and procedure of general elections and all the state institutions including the ECP would have to respect the decision.
Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz said that the ECP had raised invalid objections on the EVMs. He added that out of these 37 objections, 27 were related to the ineligibility of the ECP to hold elections with technology.
He blamed the ECP for deliberately using ‘delaying tactics’ so as to hold the election in conventional manner with no EVM. He asked why didn’t the ECP use voting machines in 10 by-elections which could act as test run of the machines. Fraz said that the national decision could not be compromised to personal willingness at all.
Replying to a question, the information minister said that the government intended to take opposition on board in electoral reforms decisions and the Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser tried to rectify the misconceptions in his meeting with some opposition members in this regard.