Pakistan News

PTI in two minds about local poll concerns

PTI in two minds about local poll concerns

LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Punjab chapter may write a letter to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to express its reservations against the “manner of holding the upcoming local elections.”

The PTI had plans to send its letter to the Punjab Election Commissioner on Tuesday but held it back following party’s stance against the four provincial members of the ECP. “If the party will be campaigning against the Punjab Election Commissioner demanding his removal from the office, how it can write a letter to him for holding free and fair elections,” a source privy to the development told Dawn.

Sources say the PTI has rejected the holding of indirect elections on reserved seats. In an All-Opposition Parties Conference, the opposition parties had decided to file joint petitions against the holding of indirect election on reserved seats.

Sources say the PTI also rejects holding of local elections in three phases and upon insistence of the Supreme Court demands that the elections should not be held in selected districts of different divisions. Rejecting pick and choose policy, the PTI Punjab wants that the elections should be held on divisions’ basis in three phases.

It is also learnt that the letter also includes a demand that the Election Commission should investigate the issuance of development funds to the PML-N candidates ahead of local elections that is tantamount to pre-poll rigging.

Sources claim the PTI is also demanding that the elections should be held under the direct supervision of the Rangers instead of the Punjab bureaucracy to ensure transparency.

The PTI Punjab also wants to warn that it could boycott the local elections, if its genuine demands are not met. However, the party could not reach the consensus till the filing of this report.

PTI Punjab deputy organiser Omar Sarfraz Cheema confirmed that the PTI Punjab was ready to send a letter to the Punjab Election Commissioner on Tuesday but stopped due to his controversial position along with other three provincial members of the ECP. “The PTI Punjab will make further consultations on Thursday (today) and then decide about sending the letter,” Mr Cheema said.

Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2015

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