Government snubs election ban

February 05, 2013 - 4:59:24 am

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan’s (ECP)decision to freeze all recruitments in public sector offices and ban the use of development funds for electioneering has not gelled in well with the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party.

However, the government is yet to submit its concerns regarding the issue to the commission in writing. “We have not received any such written request from the government,” an ECP official said yesterday.

In a directive issued on January 21, the commission imposed a ban on last-minute recruitments in all public sector organisations except those carried out by the federal or a provincial public service commission.

The notification also forbade the government from diverting money to the prime minister’s discretionary fund for distribution to the ruling party for electioneering.

In response, a team led by Law Minister Farooq H Naek met Chief Election Commissioner Justice (retd) Fakharuddin G Ebrahim and said that the commission did not have any legal powers to issue such directives before the formal announcement of the election schedule.

Thereby, officials from the commission asked the federation’s team to submit their concerns in writing. The ECP official said that the Naek-led delegation had expressed its reservations and was asked to formally submit its‑‑‑ concerns but instead the commission received a letter from Senator Raza Rabbani raising the issue.                     Internews