ECP demands written apology from Imran in ballot secrecy case

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  • Imran’s counsel submits a written reply to ECP requesting the election body to end the case against his client

  • Awan tells election body curtain, used for ballot secrecy, had fallen due to the crowd inside the polling station

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Thursday demanded a written apology from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for violating the ballot secrecy while casting his vote in general elections 2018.

Earlier in the day, Imran’s legal counsel Babar Awan submitted a written reply requesting the election body to end the case against his client.

ECP, however, rejected the reply and summoned a written affidavit from Khan apologising for the controversial vote casting with his complete signatures.

A four-member bench headed by the chief election commission heard the suo motu notice of Imran Khan violating the electoral code of conduct when PTI chief was seen stamping the ballot paper publicly in NA-53 Islamabad constituency, instead of going behind the voting screen to cast his vote in secrecy.

The reply further said that Imran Khan did not intentionally stamp his ballot publicly. Photos of Imran were taken without his permission, the written apply asserted, adding the curtain, used for ballot secrecy, had fallen due to the crowd inside the polling station.

Awan also requested ECP to issue notification for Imran’s victory from NA-53 in Islamabad.

Imran defeated former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in NA-53, bagging 92,891 as compared to PML-N leader’s 44,314 votes.

ECP, however, withheld the notification of Imran Khan’s success in two constituencies-NA-53 Islamabad and NA-131 Lahore. The notification of Imran’s success was not issued pertaining to the violation of ECP’s code of conduct.

According to Section 185 of the Election Act, a person can be sentenced in jail for six months and/or fined Rs1,000 for violating the ballot secrecy.

On July 30, ECP sought a written reply from Imran Khan, who is set to become next prime minister of Pakistan after his party’s victory in general election 2018.