Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan, Mr. Justice (R) Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim, on Thursday rejected calls from some parties for the dissolution of the Commission and termed their allegations as unfortunate.
“Some political parties have recently expressed reservations against the Members and CEC of the ECP and demanded its dissolution. This criticism is most unfortunate as we are only six weeks away from the expiry of the term of present Government and on the verge of a smooth transition from one democratic government to the next for the very first time,” he said in a statement.
He said the appointments of all the Members of the ECP and himself were made in complete compliance with all constitutional provisions.
“We are all retired judges of our respective Superior Courts and have absolutely no political affiliation”.
“It is pertinent to note that none of the attacks against us give any details about our so-called political affiliations and only make vague, unsubstantiated and baseless allegations. This appears to be a deliberate attempt to malign the ECP for political gain,” Fakhruddin G Ebrahim said.
He welcomed criticism as this is the nature of politics, but personal attacks on “our integrity and independence without any basis whatsoever is unacceptable and will only serve to dent public confidence on the electoral process”.
He said that the stakeholders are obviously entitled to criticize the work of the ECP and he had welcomed all suggestions by concerned quarters.
“Never has the ECP been so open and transparent as it is presently. We have met leaders from all parties, NGOs, government officials, members from the bureaucracy and foreign dignitaries to continuously learn and address their concerns”.
He said that ECP has taken notice of allegations of pre-poll rigging and imposed unprecedented bans on advertisements using public money, doling out jobs for votes and diversion of funds by the Provincial and Federal Governments to please constituents on the eve of elections.
“We have prepared an electoral roll in collaboration with NADRA for the first time, which will eradicate duplicate voting. Legislative proposals have been made to increase women voter participation, ensure the secrecy of the ballot paper and enhance nomination scrutiny measures”.
He said penal action has been taken against sitting Parliamentarians for holding dual nationality and fake degrees. The number and security at polling stations has been increased. Other measures and proposals to ensure free and fair elections are constantly being considered and implemented.
He said he has full faith in the integrity, independence and competence of all the Members as well as the staff of the ECP.
“We have only one objective – free, fair and transparent elections. I only request that all parties and leaders assist us in achieving this dream instead of making false and baseless allegations”.