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PM Ashraf rejects demand for dissolution of election commission

31 January, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Wednesday, while rejecting the demand to dissolve the Election Commission of Pakistan as "extra-constitutional", said that neither the commission nor its members can be removed.

Chairing a meeting of the federal cabinet, he said that the ECP and appointment of its members was in accordance with the constitution. He said the government was sincerely engaged in efforts to strengthen democracy, while anti-democratic forces and anti-state elements were busy in creating a situation that was not only detrimental to democracy but also to economic growth and stability.

Raja termed it "a very dangerous trend" and said there was a strong need to rise against these disruptive forces to move forward. "In hours of crises, difficulties and challenges, vibrant and vigilant nations respond according to the situation, analyse factors leading to such events and come up with solution, thus converting challenges into opportunities," he added.

The prime minister, in categorical terms, told the anti-democracy elements that the government will not succumb to their intrigues. "We shall not let any one derail democracy. We gave and are ready to give any kind of sacrifice for the country and democracy," he added.

Raja said with the collective wisdom of coalition partners, democracy was gaining strength in the country, and noted that the national and provincial assemblies were completing their tenure in the next few weeks.

The prime minister said the nation was heading towards the general election and the government was committed to holding free, fair and transparent elections in accordance with the provisions of the constitution. He urged his cabinet colleagues and parliament to maintain effective contact with the people.

End.

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