LAHOPRE - Condemning the alleged intimidation and harassment of election staff by the Punjab government ahead of bye-elections in Jhang, PPP’s central Punjab President, Mian Manzoor Wattoo has asked the Election Commission of Pakistan to stop the repetition of May 2013 elections.

“The Punjab government’s mandarins notorious for using illegal and unethical tactics in the electoral process are active once again to rig the elections,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

The polling for bye-elections in PP-81 (Jhang) is being held today.

Wattoo warned the Punjab government to desist from manipulating the mandate of the people as such tactics would not be tolerated. The PPP, he added, would join hands with other political forces to formulate a befitting strategy if ballot boxes were stuffed with the connivance of the administration.

He recalled that almost all the political parties raised their serious reservations over the elections results of May 2013 elections, but former President Asif Ali Zardari accepted the results only for the sake of the supreme cause of continuity of political process. “This allowance cannot be given to them any more for the same reason”, he maintained.

Wattoo said that if the PPP had joined hands with other political forces bringing people to the streets to protest rigging of May 2013 elections, the country would have faced chaos and instability. He cautioned that political maturity and equanimity of PPP should not be deemed by the Punjab rulers a manifestation of weakness.

The PPP leader said that opposition parties did not want to create road blocks in the way of the government in the face of terrorism and extremism and the government should appreciate it instead of making petty political gains through rigging.