PML-N President and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif has asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to step down after an inquiry report blamed the government officials of irregularities during the contentious NA-75 Daska’s by-poll earlier this year.
“If Imran Niazi [prime minister] has the slightest respect for law, democracy and political ethics, than he should resign and face the law,” Shehbaz said in a statement on Sunday.
An inquiry report by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday revealed that the disappearance of presiding officers during the vote count for the NA-75 Daska by-elections on February 19 was part of a “pre-planned scheme”.
“The election officials and other government functionaries did not play their designated role in a requisite manner but they were found puppets in the hands of their unlawful masters,” the report highlighted.
On February 25, the ECP ruled that re-election be held in the entire NA-75 Daska constituency after suspicions that the results may have been falsified. An inquiry report was subsequently sought.
“The entire incident was planned. The officers were first taken to Pasrur and then Sialkot,” the report, submitted by Punjab Joint Election Commissioner Saeed Gul, stated.
Shehbaz said the ECP report provided evidence against the ruling PTI’s attempt to rig the election and usurp the people’s right to elect their own representative.
“What is he [PM Imran] waiting for after the [ECP] report revealed everything?” asked the PML-N president.
Shehbaz said PM Imran in line with democratic norms and values should face accountability in the wake of ECP inquiry report.
“It takes a big heart to face the law like Nawaz Sharif [former prime minister],” he added.
The opposition leader said PM Imran was introducing electoral reforms and electronic voting machines (EVMs) “because his tactics to rig Daska by-election had been exposed”.
The PML-N would oppose the government’s plan to introduce electoral reforms and amendments in the NAB ordinance, he maintained.