Pakistan election chief quits amid allegations

Islamabad, July 31 (IANS) Pakistan's election chief Fakhruddin G. Ebrahim Wednesday resigned amid allegations of rigging in the May general election.

The Election Commission of Pakistan said Ebrahim gave his resignation to the president. A copy of the letter was released to the media, reports Xinhua.

Ebrahim, a former senior judge, was appointed in July last year with rare consensus between the government and the opposition. He supervised the general election and the presidential election of Tuesday.

"I was appointed through a consultative process by the last parliament. My constitutional term ends in 2017.

"However, in my humble opinion, the newly elected members of parliament should have the opportunity to forge new consensus and choose a new Chief Election Commissioner," Ebrahim said in his letter.

He said his resignation will also allow the next Chief Election Commissioner sufficient time and opportunity to prepare and lead the Election Commission for the general election of 2018.

"Therefore, I hereby resign from the office of the Chief Election Commissioner of Pakistan," he said.

Opposition parties claimed that the general elections were rigged, the claim categorically denied by the Election Commission.

On Tuesday, senior opposition leader Imran Khan again alleged that the Election Commission and the judiciary were responsible for the rigging.

Ebrahim paid homage to political leaders and activists killed in the militant attacks during the election campaign.

He also pointed out that the Election Commission has acted without fear or favour and strived to create a playing field as level as possible.

"Despite personal threats and even brazen gun attack on my family-I quietly stood firm against those forces who first tried to derail and then delay the 2013 elections," Ebrahim said.


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