Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi attempted to meet Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Mr Sikandar Sultan Raja through a former bureaucrat, sources told Geo News on Tuesday.
Elahi, a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League Quaid (PML-Q), is an ally of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Punjab, whose chairman, Imran Khan, has repeatedly criticised CEC for favouring the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
A request to meet the CEC at a private location was made some time ago, according to the sources, who also said that Raja turned down the offer.
CM Elahi can come to the office if he wants to meet me, sources quoted the ECP chief as saying.
The chief minister attempted to meet the ECP chief despite PTI Chairman Imran Khan repeatedly alleging Raja is biased and supports the PMLN. He also claims that the ECP verdict disqualifying him was issued at the discretion of PML-N.
Khan, while addressing his party’s Workers’ Convention in Lahore earlier in 2022, said that the CEC Raja is “PML-N’s agent.” The ECP chief doesn’t have the right to serve the post, therefore, he should resign, said Khan.
In October 2022, Khan was disqualified from his Mianwali seat in the National Assembly under Article 63(1)(p) for making “false statements and incorrect declaration”.
The ECP, earlier this month, served a notice to the PTI chairman, seeking an explanation for still holding the top post in his party despite disqualification.
The electoral body had initiated the process for the removal of Khan from the party chairman’s post last month in light of its verdict to disqualify the former premier in the widely reported and discussed Toshakhana case.
It may be noted that Khan has challenged ECP’s move to remove him from the party chairman’s post in the Lahore High Court. Responding to Khan’s plea, the LHC on Thursday stopped the electoral body from stripping the former premier of PTI’s top post.
The court issued a notice, ordering the ECP to refrain from taking disciplinary action until the next hearing.