General

All parties provided level playing field: ECP

Secretary Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Babar Yaqoob reiterated on Tuesday that the July 25 polls were free and fair.
“We took measures to provide a level playing field to all parties,” the ECP secretary said while addressing the media in Islamabad.
Stating that acting upon Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) petition, the electoral body requested the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to not arrest political leaders till after the polls were over, Yaqoob said, “Elections were postponed in NA-60.”
ECP decided to postpone polls in NA-60, Rawalpindi constituency following PML-N leader Hanif Abbasi’s sentence to ensure that all parties have a level playing field, he noted.
Asserting that the polls were fair, Yaqoob reiterated that the ECP has rejected political parties’ demand for the resignation of the chief election commissioner (CEC).
“The call for CEC’s resignation by a number of political parties has been rejected,” he maintained.
Further condemning the call for the CEC’s resignation, Yaqoob said, “If any candidate has complains then they will be dealt with as per the law and complains should be filed in line with the Constitution.”
“We expect all candidates whether they won or lost to respect people’s mandate and not only accept the results but strengthen the democratic process,” the ECP secretary said.
Yaqoob further said, “One can ascertain that the 2018 General Election was transparent by noting that polls were concluded on time in most parts of the country.”
“The voter turnout stood at 52%,” he said while adding that people freely exercised their right to elect their candidates.
Claiming that Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) and EU missions declared the polls were free and fair, the ECP secretary said, “This is an honour for the country’s democratic process.”
The ECP secretary also noted, “For the first time in the country’s history, a survey was conducted in 85,000 polling stations and provincial governments were asked to facilitate people.”
He added, “This was the first election in which a large number of women participated.”