ISLAMABAD: The PML-N has announced on Monday a comprehensive and effective Anti-Rigging System (ARS) to expose and prevent any attempt at rigging in July 25 elections, an official press release said.
This was announced by Chairman of the PML-N Central Media Committee, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, at a press conference at the party Secretariat today.
He also announced that a National Conference of Social Media activists and Chief Polling Agents would be held on July 19 in Lahore, which would include training program for CPAs from all constituencies where PML-N candidates are contesting.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said that apart from the party, some other political parties including the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), have publicly complained about attempts at rigging, interference, intimidation, manipulation, political engineering, and harassment plus nepotism and favouritism through undue official influence.
He said that all these actions are a blatant violation of the Code of Conduct of the Election Commission of Pakistan, as well as all election laws and those officials who indulged in such malpractices are willfully violating their oath to office.
Such negative practices undermine free fair and transparent electoral process while also making elections controversial, since a level playing field is not provided.
In this context, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said a recurring pattern is targeting the PML-N leadership through a systematic effort to block the party’s legitimate political activities.
He said that the latest example is of the cases, including provisions from the Anti-Terrorism Act, against its leadership and activists during the July 13 mass mobilisation rally in Lahore. Sayed said that 130 cases have been registered against 16,868 PML-N workers and activists.
The senator said that three times elected prime minister Nawaz Sharif is facing a trial in jail which is unprecedented for political leaders. As per law, he should be tried in an open court and only high profile terrorists are tried in jails, he added.
He unveiled features of the ARS, which is the first time in Pakistan’s political history that a political party has formally launched a comprehensive system to counter rigging.
Its notable features include linkage between candidates, constituencies, legal aid committees, social media teams and election observers, backed by a hotline number where complains about rigging will be recorded and addressed in accordance with law, informed the senator.
Legal action will also be taken against individuals found involved in rigging in any form, including officials who violate their oath or the law of the land, he further stated.
Those will be publicly named and their illegal activities will be exposed, he added.
For the effective implementation of the ARS, the PML-N has also decided to convene a national conference of social media activists and chief polling agents on July 19, at 10:30 am, at the party’s election headquarters.
Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed also invited other political parties, civil society organisations, media, human rights groups and all the democratic forces to join hands with PML-N in promoting measures against rigging.