PTI govt to initiate contempt proceedings against ECP

ISLAMABAD: The government has warned the ECP that it may face contempt charges.

The PTI government said on Tuesday that if the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) does not tender resignations, it will face contempt charges.

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said consultations with the attorney-general were conducted after the Cabinet meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The minister was quoted in The News as saying, “They are working on the case that if the ECP — chief election commissioner (CEC) and four provincial representatives — did not step down, the government might launch contempt of court proceedings against them and then use all possible options on that count.”

The federal government requested that the ECP resign on Monday, claiming that it had “absolutely refused” to hold open Senate elections.

Fawad Chaudhry clarified that they (ECP members) should understand the condition and withdraw; otherwise, the government had options (solutions) open to it, including contempt of court proceedings against them, among others.

“As a political party, we recommend that you resign so that Parliament will nominate a new election commissioner,” the minister told the electoral commission.

Fawad argued, citing Article 218 (3), that the Election Commission’s primary duty was to guarantee free, equal, and open elections and to prevent corruption, which it failed to do, and that all political parties agreed on this.

Similarly, he went on to say that the Supreme Court of Pakistan advised the ECP to follow the Constitution and use technology to hold free and open Senate elections, but that it failed to do so.

He noted that several videos had gone viral even before the polls and then asked journalists if the Senate elections were open, fair, and honest and if there were no unethical activities involved in the process.

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