Minutes after former prime minister Imran Khan lashed out at Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja during a public gathering, the top electoral body said that its decision cannot be influenced by any kind of pressure or intimidation.
“The Election Commission of Pakistan makes and will continue to make all its decisions in the light of the Constitution and the law,” the electoral body said in a statement on Friday.
الیکشن کمیشن آف پاکستان
13 مئی۔ 2022
الیکشن کمیشن آف پاکستان اپنے تمام فیصلے آئین و قانون کی روشنی میں کرتا ہے اور کرتا رہے گا۔ ادارے کے فیصلوں پر کسی طرح کے دباو یا دھمکی سے اثر انداز نہیں ہوا جاسکتا۔
— Election Commission of Pakistan (OFFICIAL) (@ECP_Pakistan) May 13, 2022
Addressing the anti-government rally in Mardan, PTI Chairman Imran fired a broadside at the CEC for dismissing the reference against his party’s 20 defecting members of the National Assembly (MNAs) under Article 63-A of the Constitution, for lack of substantial evidence.
He also hinted at the siege of the CEC, saying that people “will go after him if he tries to protect corrupt people and turncoats by misusing his power”.
Imran also reiterated that transparent elections cannot take place under the incumbent chief election commissioner. “The entire nation knows who the lotas [turncoats] are but only the chief election commissioner cannot see them,” he added.
Last month, taking notice of allegations levelled by the ousted prime minister, the ECP asked the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) for the record of his address during a workers’ convention in Peshawar on April 26.
The PTI chairman had demanded the resignation of CEC Sikandar Sultan Raja for allegedly siding with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) against the PTI.
The former premier had claimed that the CEC had “lost all his credibility” and when the country’s “largest political party” has lost confidence in him, he should resign.
The ECP has also sought the record of statements of Leader of the Opposition in Sindh Assembly Haleem Adil Sheikh, Khurram Sher Zaman and Senator Ijaz Chaudhry.
The CEC categorically stated that he does not plan on resigning and would continue on his post in the “best interests of the country”.