The Punjab Assembly on Sunday passed a resolution, seeking resignations of “biased” Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) officials and Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja.
The development came a day after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) decided to file a ‘judicial reference’ against the CEC and other members of the ECP for allegedly violating the code of conduct by holding a meeting with the government delegation earlier this week.
On July 29, a delegation comprising members of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – PPP and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan – met ECP officials and urged them to announce the long-delayed judgement in PTI’s prohibited funding case and take action against it at the earliest as it was ECP’s ‘constitutional responsibility’.
As the provincial assembly session began, Speaker Sabatin Khan announced that PTI-PML-Q joint canddiate Wasiq Qayyum Abbasi had been elected PA’s deputy speaker unopposed.
Later, the speaker administered the oath to the newly elected deputy speaker.
Subsequently, PTI lawmaker Syed Ali Abbas tabled a resolution seeking the resignation of the “biased” CEC and ECP officials, which was passed with a majority vote.
The provincial legislature in the resolution expressed a lack of confidence in the ECP members including the CEC and demanded their resignations on the basis of “concrete evidence” to allow the electoral watchdog to hold transparent elections.
The resolution also condemned the ouster of the PTI-led government in the Centre via “foreign conspiracy”.
It said that early and transparent general elections are the only solution to bring the country out of the worsening political and economic crises.
The house also approved a bill to give the powers of the Punjab Assembly to the secretary of the assembly. Under the previous PML-N government, the powers were handed over to the law secretary.
Later, the Punjab Assembly session was adjourned till August 15.