Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, President PPP Punjab, while addressing the press conference here today regretted the appointment of Punjab government officers as Returning Officers by the Election Commission of Pakistan despite the demand of the opposition parties to appointment Judicial Officers to ensure fair, transparent and impartial forthcoming by-elections and local bodies elections.
It is not possible to hold free and fair elections under the supervision of Punjab Government officers because they are highly politicized and will be eagerly willing to do the bidding of the ruling Party, he added.
He pointed out that development schemes were being executed which were funded by the development funds of MNAs and MPAs to influence the voters which were glaring violation of the code of conduct. It is pre-poll rigging by any measure, he stated.
He recalled that the ECP during PPP watch banned all such activities six months prior to elections and it was enforced in letter and spirit by the Commission.
Referring to the Kissan Package he said it was a “fake package” which was too little and too late adding its timing clearly manifested the government’s intention of securing political mileage in favor of the riling Party.
He argued that the aggressive publicity campaign in the media of the Kissan Package left no room of the tainted intention of the government.
He again appreciated the decision of the ECP for the deployment of the Rangers and the army personnel during the by-elections adding that it should be done so in the local bodies elections to ensure smooth polling at the polling stations.
While commenting on the Supreme Court’s decision to suspend the Election Tribunal decision pertaining to NA-154, he said that PPP accepted the verdict of the Apex Court because the Party held Judiciary in the highest esteem.
He, however, pointed out the duplicity of the government as it was earlier saying to go to the voters to seek their fresh mandate and at the same time tried to hide behind Judiciary.
On the issue of seat adjustment, he said that it had been done with PTI, PTI,JI in districts Okara, Shaikhupura, Gujramwala and Faisalabd as a first stage adding the second stage would be regarding the elections of the Chairmen. He expressed the hope that the Opposition Parties would give tough time to the ruling party by electing the top slots collectively.
He said that in today’s meeting of the PPP chapter of Lahore, it was decided to nominate office bearers and PPP stalwarts to lunch aggressive campaign in NA-122 and PP-147 by going door to door and holding series of corner meetings in the constituency.
Those who were nominated in Union councils for the purpose included Haji Aziz-ur- Rehamn Chan(31) Haq Nawaz Khan(32) Amir Suhail But(33), Zahid Zulfiqar(54) Senator Kazim Khan(75), Iftikhar Shahid(76), Omar Missbah-ur- Rehman(78), Abid Siddique(96),Mian Ayhub(93), Mian Khalid Saeed(94 and 100), Mian Waheed(101), Naveed Chaudhry(102 and 103), Mian Kashif Hassan(105), Suhail Milk(106),Aslam Gill and Dr. Khayyam Hafeez(107).
The meeting which was held under the chair of Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo was attended by Tanvir Ashraf Kaira,Samia Gurkhi, Zahid Zilfiqar, Rana Asher, Barrister Amir Hassan, Haji Aziz-ur- Rehman Chan, Aslam Gill, Raja Amir, Abid Siddique, Ghulan Fraid Kathia, Chaudhry Naeem-ul-Hassan, Ex- MNA, Naveed Chaudhry,Abdul Waheed, Mian Ayub Rana Gul Nasir, Dr. Khayyan Hafeez, Ashraf Bhatti, Haq Nawaz Khan, Maulana Yousuf Awan and representative of Allied Wings of PPP.