PESHAWAR: Awami National Party (ANP) Chief Asfandyar Wali during a press conference on Wednesday demanded the resignation of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Wali said that while the incumbent government is in power, transparent elections cannot be held. The ANP leader suggested that a re-poll should take place for local government as well as provincial assembly under a caretaker setup. He also plead that the the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) should be strengthened.
Polling for the largest local government (LG) elections in the history of KP took place on Saturday in which citizens voted to elect 41,762 councilors in the three tiers of local councils.
“I want to ask the ‘kaptaan’ that when it comes to the Punjab elections, you said Najam Sethi and Nawaz Sharif are responsible, while now you yourself accept that rigging took place Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but you say the Election Commission is responsible,” the ANP leader remarked. “If in Punjab the government is responsible, then the government should be responsible here as well”.
In response to a question, Wali said that the law and order situation is not the ECP’s responsibility, it is the provincial government’s responsibility.
“Free and fair elections cannot be held under the current government, even if they are under army supervision,” the ANP leader reiterated.
A visibly perturbed PTI Chief Imran Khan offered on Tuesday to hold re-elections if the contesting political parties and ECP believed his party had influenced the outcome of the polls through unfair means.
“Let the ECP decide. If the commission says all of KP needs re-elections, the PTI is ready for that. If the ECP says re-polling is required in a certain number of polling stations, I have no problem with that either,” Imran Khan had told media personnel.
However, Khan had insisted that conducting free and fair elections in a peaceful manner was the ECP’s responsibility which, he said, “I have heard the commission is shifting to the KP government.”
Unhappy with the poll-rigging accusations being hurled at the PTI, particularly by coalition partners Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Khan had said, “All parties have joined hands against the PTI, but we have won the elections and we will do it again if they insist on re-elections.”
On Monday, the JI’s Peshawar chapter held CM Khattak responsible for rigging and demanded re-elections in all councils of the capital city.
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