ECP rebuffs APC demands

THE Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), on Tuesday, reacted sharply to demands by some political parties for resignation of its members in the backdrop of allegation of rigging and denial of level-playing field to candidates and political parties. In a statement, Secretary of the Commission Babar Yaqoob criticised political parties for ‘disrespecting the mandate of the Pakistani people without any reason, or for political reasons’, terming it a violation of the ‘basic principles of democracy’.
The demand for resignation was made by leaders attending All Parties Conference (APC) in Islamabad, which discussed rigging issue and strategy to be adopted by aggrieved parties. It has, however, become a fashion to demand resignation from members of the Commission by candidates and parties suffering defeat in elections. Previously, similar demands were made by other parties and now another set of parties is resorting to same tactics in an apparent bid to build pressure on the Commission. We have been emphasising in these columns that ECP has no paraphernalia to make foolproof arrangements on its own and is entirely dependent on other state institutions and government departments, which under relevant provisions of the Constitution and law are bound to extend fullest cooperation and assistance to EC in order to discharge its responsibilities. There is no doubt that failure of the Result Transmission System (RTS), extraordinary delay in announcement of results and non-provision of required forms to candidates and their representatives raised doubts and suspicion. Similarly, denial of recounting in some constituencies is also questionable especially when the margin of victory is very thin.
But the Commission, exercising its powers, has ordered recount in many constituencies in accordance with the law and things would become clear. The previous Parliament, after a comprehensive exercise, approved a number of measures to streamline election process and strengthen the Election Commission. However, there is always room for improvement and all concerned should play their role in new Parliament to give more powers to the Commission. Neither democracy nor the country would progress and strengthen until and unless we build and strengthen institutions.

Share this post

    scroll to top