The government of Pakistan has expressed no-confidence in the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and has asked the ECP to resign.
Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood said that the current ECP should resign as it has failed to fulfill its responsibilities, referring to the recent senate elections. He said that none of the parties support the current electoral body, and for a free and fair election, a free and fair election commission is needed, and no one should have any objection towards the body.
He further added that the actions of the ECP have harmed the democracy of Pakistan. The commission could have worked according to the rulings of the Supreme Court; however, its actions were not responsible.
Talking about the Senate elections, the federal minister said that historically, whenever elections have happened, talks about horse-trading have flared up around the country.
Last week senate elections were held, where the hot-contested seat between government’s Mr. Hafeez Sheikh and joint opposition’s Yousaf Raza Gillani came under discussion due to many reasons. Even though the government had the majority, the seat was won by the opposition’s candidate leading to the government side alleging horse-trading in the senate.
To make the matters worse, two videos surfaced, one was of Mr. Gillani’s son teaching people how to waste their vote and another of some members of the National Assembly accepting bribes.
Also, the government had approached the highest court in the country for an advisory ruling to the government on allowing open ballot on the senate elections, but the court upheld article 226 of the constitution, maintaining the secret ballot in senate elections.
However, according to the government’s interpretation of the ruling, Supreme Court had allowed ECP to use technology to ensure fairness, which according to the government meant ballot tracing.
Even though the government side won the elections for the Senate chairman and deputy chairman, the opposition alleged horse-trading. Thus, the government has since then expressed that the elections in the senate be made fair.