Islamabad: Former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party held countrywide demonstrations outside the offices of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in different cities on Tuesday and demanded the resignation of the election commissioner.
Many protestors demanded “immediate, free and fair elections” as demonstrations were held in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Gujranwala and Faisalabad among other cities.
The protesters condemned the alleged biased conduct of the chief election commissioner and demanded his resignation. Last week, PTI chairman Imran Khan told reporters that Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja was “not neutral” and biased against his party and called for him to resign.
PTI leader and Barrister Maleeka Bokhari said that “PTI is protesting outside ECP offices to highlight the bias of a Constitutional body which has consistently failed to discharge its obligation under Article 218(3)” and over ECP’s silence on horsetrading.
In Islamabad, former interior minister Sheikh Rashid and other PTI leaders joined the protest and complained that thousands of party members were unable to reach the site of the demonstration as the routes have been blocked. On Tuesday, Islamabad’s Red Zone, where foreign embassies and major government offices are located, had been sealed after the ECP wrote a letter to the interior ministry for security.
Chief Election Commissioner Sultan said there was no reason to resign and said he was working in the best interest of the country and would continue to do so.
The PTI government was ousted from power after the former prime minister lost a no-confidence vote on April 10. PTI chairman Imran Khan has vowed to protest until fresh elections are announced, describing the new government as “selected,” saying his political rivals were afraid of elections.