• Sat. Jan 28th, 2023

ECP chief ‘excuses himself from secretly meeting Punjab CM’


Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja (L) and Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi. — Radio Pakistan/File
Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja (L) and Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi. — Radio Pakistan/File

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has been subjecting Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja to heavy criticism for the past couple of months but surprisingly his close aide and ally Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi attempted to meet the ECP head secretary, revealed well-placed sources.

The sources privy to the matter claimed that CM Elahi, via a former bureaucrat, requested the CEC to meet him at a private location.

The meeting was to be held in the backdrop of a stay granted to PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain against the intra-party election, the sources added.

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 request.

“CM Elahi can come to the office if he wants to meet me,” the sources quoted the ECP chief as saying.

The Punjab chief executive attempted to meet the ECP chief despite PTI Chairman Imran Khan repeatedly alleging Raja is biased and supports the PML-N. He also claims that the ECP verdict disqualifying him was issued at the discretion of the 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, the PTI chief added.

In October, 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.



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