PM castigates ECP
In his speech after obtaining the vote of confidence, Prime Minister Imran Khan once again criticised the ECP and suggested, rather bizarrely, that the electoral body should get a secret briefing from the intelligence agencies to get to know how much money had been used in the Senate elections.
By repeatedly accusing the ECP of not doing its job, the Prime Minister, in my considered opinion, is creating unnecessary tension with constitutional bodies like the ECP that has done well to take firm action against the electoral manipulation that was witnessed in the Daska by-election.
In the Senate elections too, the ECP has followed the opinion of the Supreme Court.
The number of votes indicated the ruling alliance with 180 members is completely intact as the Speaker could not cast his vote whereas Senator-elect Faisal Vawda, who resigned from the Assembly on the 3rd of March after polling his vote in the Senate’s election in an apparent move to avoid his possible disqualification for hiding his dual nationality while contesting the 2018 general election, saw the proceedings from the gallery.
Prime minister, who attended the sitting after nearly six months, had volunteered to seek the Assembly’s confidence in response to the joint opposition demanded for his resignation after the defeat of Hafeez Shaikh in the much-hyped 3rd March poll for the Senate seat from Islamabad.
In his 50-minute speech, the Prime Minister thanked the law-makers belonging to the PTI and allied parties for reposing confidence in him, castigated the Election Commission of Pakistan for allegedly failing to conduct the Senate election in a transparent manner and made personal attacks on the opposition leadership.
The Prime Minister had been elected to the post with 176 votes three years ago and on the 6th of March he secured 178 votes.
The Election Commission warned the government it won’t succumb to pressure, and advised PTI to stop mudslinging after losing the Senate election.
Federal Ministers should know the ECP enjoys contempt of court proceedings as per Article .
—The writer is former Federal Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan and currently Chairman National Democratic Foundation.