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ECP official addresses fears of delay in elections

May 30, 2018
Although the government has announced polling date and the Election Commission has allotted symbols to political parties, some political leaders still fear delay in elections. Over the past few months, key political leaders, including Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Imran Khan, Syed Khursheed Shah and Maulana Fazl Urrehman, between the lines gave vent to their...

Although the government has announced polling date and the Election Commission has allotted symbols to political parties, some political leaders still fear delay in elections.

Over the past few months, key political leaders, including Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Imran Khan, Syed Khursheed Shah and Maulana Fazl Urrehman, between the lines gave vent to their concerns about timely elections.

However, Chief Justice, Justice Saqib Nisar came up with a categorical statement that there is no room in constitution to postpone elections.

The speculations were further strengthened by Secretary Election Commission Babar Yaqoob on Tuesday.

The top official of the election body, while briefing Senate’s standing committee on interior, claimed that some international forces may conspire to sabotage the polls.

In December last year, Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq also expressed similar concerns, saying that he is seeing a ‘greater plan’ ahead of elections, under which some lawmakers might resign from assemblies in an attempt to delay the polls.

Delimitation is also a cause of concern among politicians.

After the delimitation of different constituencies following last year's census, at least 108 petitions against Election Commission have been filed in Islamabad High Court alone.

On Tuesday, the court set aside the delimitation of constituencies in four districts of Punjab and referred their cases back to the commission.

The court will now take up another 37 petitions related to 20 other constituencies on Wednesday.

“Defiantly the elections are going to be held on July 25,” asserted ECP spokesman, Chaudhry Nadeem Qasim.

He was speaking to anchorperson Shahzad Iqbal in Samaa’s talk-show ‘Awaz’.

Qasim ruled out the possibility of any delay in elections.

“The commission will announce its election program within seven days. It’s expected by June 1st, so there is apparently no reason for delay. The commission is all prepared to hold the voting on June 25,” he said.

When asked about Secretary ECP’s statement, he said the remarks were taken out of context.

The meeting was about election preparation and its agenda was country’s security on the polling day, so this perception is wrongly being created that international forces are going to affect our election results, he said.

“The secretary issued the statement on country’s security situation,” the spokesman said.

Replying to a question, Chaudhry Nadeem Qasim said the commission has not so far received IHC judgement. “It will be premature to say something about the verdict on re-conducting the delimitation process.”

The commission will hear and dispose of all cases remanded by the court, he said, adding that the general elections will not be delayed due to the issue of delimitation.
 
 
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