Imran Khan indeed has gained the upper moral position when he offers to entertain the complaints of the opposition parties over the allegations of rigging in the polling process. However, European Union Observation Mission (EU EOM) has a different commentary on the July 25 elections. In a press conference in Islamabad, EU Chief Observer Michael Gahler raised his reservations on the overall political environment of the environment.
Though the EU Chief Observer has termed the election results credible, he, however, maintained that level playing field was denied to many candidates and some political parties, notably the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N). Similarly, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) had also highlighted malpractices before the elections and called such practices equivalent to pre-poll rigging. HRCP report also questioned the impartiality of the polling staff.
HRCP’s comment that ECP failed in meeting the expectations on the political content of its work is corroborating the reservations that all mainstream political parties have expressed. The moral pedestal Imran is standing upon right now demands from him to give a hearing ear to all such objections. While EU EOM has appreciated the ECP for its governance of the electoral process, the report also points out the politicisation of the judiciary. It is not wrong to say that the way the courts operated all this time determined the political environment before the elections.
The United States too has questioned the fairness of the July 25 elections. While concurring with the observations of EU EOM and HRCP, the state department’s spokesperson Heather Nauret maintains that there are flaws in the pre-voting electoral process where some candidates and political parties are discriminated against. What Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) needs to do amid such criticism is to come up with a proper proposal on electoral reforms. PTI enjoys the public mandate, and after occupying the treasury benches, it should make the electoral reforms its top priority.
Furthermore, the political parties who do not believe in the fairness of the recently held elections need to make a proper case in the light of the comments that different international and national organisations have made, especially the ones on the pre-poll malpractices and creating a political environment in favour of one party. Instead of simply cherry picking the portions of these report that suit their narrative, all parties must take the complete reports in account as well.