PTI may approach LHC for stay order revocation amid fears of polls delay

“PTI may withdraw the stay order to speed up the case hearing on merits,” says PTI Senator Ali Zafar

Barrister Ali Zafar. —APP
  • Zafar says he did not realise party was trying to get a stay order.
  • Says it was time they should learn to accept election results.
  • PTI may withdraw stay order to expedite case hearing, he says.

The Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) has admitted that securing stay order from the Lahore High Court against Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) appointments for general elections was a wrong move, while hinting that the party may approach the court for the withdrawal of its order.

Speaking on Geo News’ ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath’ show, PTI Senator Barrister Syed Ali Zafar has said the PTI could move LHC to seek withdrawal of the stay order, on the appointment of returning officers (ROs) and district returning officers (DROs) from the bureaucracy for the general elections.

“The PTI may withdraw the stay order to speed up the case hearing on merits to decide the fate of appointment of DROs and ROs,” he remarked.

He said the impression against the PTI regarding the delay in the elections because of stay order as a result of its plea was somewhat correct and the criticism seemed right.

However, the PTI leader said as far as filing the petition against appointments of officers from bureaucracy was concerned, his party stance on the matter was right.

Nevertheless, admitting to miscommunication or lack of communication in the party, the PTI senator said he did not realise that the party was trying to get a stay order in the reference as there was no need for it.

The LHC issued a stay order on appointment of ROs and DROs from bureaucracy on a petition filed by the PTI. Consequently, the ECP stopped training of the election officers which sparked fears of deferment in polls.

To a query, whether the PTI would accept the poll results if they were conducted by judicial officers reminding him that the PTI did not accept the 2013 election results and the other major parties did not accept the 2018 elections while both the polls were conducted by ROs and DROs from judiciary, Ali Zafar replied it was time that they should learn to accept the election results.

“Even though we want elections to be held by judicial officers and the ECP probably wants them to be conducted by bureaucracy, whatever the results are we should accept them as it is the mandate of the masses,” he said.

Explaining how his party would tackle rigging, the barrister said it was mentioned in the Election Act how evidence had to be provided of rigging in certain constituency. 

A day earlier, the ECP stopped the training of district returning officers and returning officers who were appointed for the upcoming general elections on the LHC order.

PML-N accuses PTI of conspiring to delay elections

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Thursday accused the PTI of hatching a conspiracy to delay the February 8 general elections.

In a statement, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif had said the PTI was conspiring to defer the general elections scheduled to be held on February 8 next year.

Referring to the PTI petition in the LHC against hiring DROs from bureaucracy, the PML-N president said the plea amounted to sabotaging people’s representation.

“The PTI’s petition in the high court is a plot to run away from the elections. PTI is hatching a conspiracy against the February 8 general elections just like cipher. As always, the PTI is applying double-standard and hypocritical policy here,” he said.

The former prime minister further said the PTI was filing petitions in the courts to postpone the polls, while publicly demanding to hold elections on time.

“Even in the 2018 elections, the bureaucracy had carried out the responsibility of DROs. Then the PTI did not object to bureaucratic DROs performing their duty,” he said adding that if the elections of February 8, 2024 were delayed, the PTI would be responsible.

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