Pakistan former information minister announces boycott of general elections – JURIST

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Pakistan’s former information minister Fawad Chaudhry announced on Monday that he and his group would boycott Pakistan’s general elections in claiming that the electoral process was fake. Fawad left former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tahreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party following the arrest of Khan on May 9, 2023 over corruption charges. He was arrested on November 4, 2023 and has been in custody since then.

According to Fawad, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) did not conduct elections in Punjab, Pakistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan last year when their provincial assemblies were dissolved. He emphasized that the purpose of elections is to empower the public with the right to make choices and that the ECP failed in carrying out its duties. He said that such a government would lack moral and legal mandates and would not be able to combat Pakistan’s challenges. He also said that it would be futile to demand ECP officials to resign.

Furthermore, Fawad claimed that he was falsely arrested to prevent him from running from office. He said that his wife and his nomination was rejected because they allegedly failed to declare property in Jhelum, Pakistan. However, Fawad claimed that this decision was based on improperly executed documents. He stated that his brother and employees were arrested and threatened while submitting a nomination and participating in the electoral process, respectively.

On January 19, former Punjab provincial minister and election candidate of PTI Khayal Ahmad Kastro was abducted by unknown assailants outside a local court in Pakistan. He was previously arrested on May 9, 2023 for investigations into corruption, abuse of power and scams in contracts. On December 30, 2023, the ECP rejected Khan’s nominations for the Pakistan general election. The PTI previously said that it intends to challenge the rejection of nomination papers for its candidates.

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