Fri, 16 Apr 2021

Islamabad [Pakistan], March 6 (ANI): Despite a warning from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Friday ramped up its attack on the poll body over "foul play" in the recent Senate election ahead of today's vote of confidence in the National Assembly.

The ECP had advised Imran Khan to stop mud-slinging and come up with evidence if it had any objection, declaring that the institution would not succumb to any pressure, reported Dawn.

Khan in a televised address to the nation had accused the ECP of 'damaging democracy' and criticised the body about the overuse of secret ballot for polling after his candidate Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who currently serves as the country's finance minister, lost to the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) nominee Yousuf Raza Gillani in Senate elections by 169 to 164 votes.

The ECP, which met here with Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja in the chair, made it clear that it could not ignore the Constitution and the law just to 'appease somebody', reminding the government that the Constitution in its present form provides for a secret ballot for Senate elections, reported Dawn.

The ECP chided the PTI for being very upset over the results of Senate polls and noted that the parties need to have a heart to digest defeat.

Moreover, ECP questioned Imran's accusations, it said, "it was astonishing to see that two elections took place the same day under one roof with the same electoral college and polling staff, but the one the PTI lost was rejected and the other won by it was accepted."The government upped the ante against the commission a day before Prime Minister Imran Khan is seeking a vote of confidence from the National Assembly in a bid to remove the impression that he had lost the support of the House, including many of his own party lawmakers, reported Dawn.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Senate leader, Sherry Rehman said: "Election Commission of Pakistan was an independent and constitutional body.

"PM's allegations against it are an insult and undermine its authority. The PM has committed contempt under the Elections Act, 2017. Section 10, Power to punish for contempt is very clear on this. It states that the Commission may exercise the same power as the High Court to punish any person for contempt of court and the Contempt of Court Ordinance, 2003 (V of 2003), or any other law pertaining to contempt of court," she said in a statement.

The opposition on Friday boycotted the National Assembly session scheduled for today, in which Prime Minister Imran Khan will seek a vote of confidence.

This is the first time in the country's history that all the opposition parties have united under the banner of PDM to throw out Imran's government, accused of rigging, incompetence, and corruption. (ANI)

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