ECP says it will make all-out efforts to ensure free and fair elections
The ECP reacted to the letter of Dr Arif Alvi
ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), without quoting the name of President Arif Alvi, said efforts were under way by a high official to make the electoral process doubtful.
Reacting to the letter of Dr Arif Alvi that he sent to interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Wednesday last, the ECP spokesperson in a statement said a high official was trying to make the transparency of the election process doubtful. He said this was not an appropriate approach as the ECP would ensure free and fair elections in the country.
President Arif Alvi sent a letter to the caretaker PM, raising the PTI’s concerns regarding the “erosion of fundamental rights and a level playing field for all political parties” in the run-up to the upcoming general elections.
A statement issued by the President’s Office on Wednesday said it was of the “utmost importance” that the caretaker government made efforts as a “neutral entity to provide a level playing field for all political parties”.
ایک اعلی عہدہ دار کی طرف سے آنے والے الیکشن کی شفافیت کو مشکوک بنانے کی کوشش کی جارہی ہے ۔ یہ طرزِعمل مناسب نہیں ہے ۔ الیکشن کمیشن پرعزم ہے کہ انشااللہ الیکشن صاف اور شفاف ہوں گے اور اس امر کو یقینی بنایا جاۓ گا ۔ترجمان الیکشن کمیشن #ECP— Election Commission of Pakistan (OFFICIAL) (@ECP_Pakistan) November 10, 2023
He also forwarded a letter sent to him by PTI Secretary General Omar Ayub Khan to the premier.
Alvi termed “reassuring” the premier’s recent remarks assuring that all registered political parties should have equal rights and opportunities to contest the forthcoming elections.
Democracy was the only viable way forward for the state and people of Pakistan, he said, adding its essence lay in giving people the right to partake in political activities and to be able to voice their opinions through free media.
He said “there was a resonance in Pakistan that for free, fair and credible elections, all political parties and leaders had right to contest and it was up to people to decide.
In his letter, President Alvi said he was constitutionally “duty-bound, along with the prime minister and all institutions, to protect the rights of the citizens”.
The president highlighted Article 4 (right of individuals to be dealt with in accordance with law), 17 (freedom of association) and 19 (freedom of speech) of the Constitution as he urged PM Kakar, as the head of the government, to “kindly look into these issues”.
The PTI is not the only party complaining about a level playing field leading up to the polls. The rivalry between the PML-N and the PPP has gained momentum as the latter has alleged that the PML-N has a hidden alliance with the current caretaker government.
The PPP also recently announced that it was open to forming an electoral alliance with the PTI to counter former ally PML-N.