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> Citizens Group holds meetings with Ch. Shujaat and Mian Nawaz Sharif; discusses parties' positions on pre-election environment
CGEP Statement
February 06, 2008


Lahore, February 6; A delegation of Citizens Group on Electoral Process (CGEP), headed by Justice (Retd.) Saeed uz Zaman Siddiqui, held meetings with president PML-Q Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Quaid PML-N at Lahore today. The CGEP delegation also included Mr. Mujib ur Rehman Shami, Dr. Parvez Hassan, Mr. Shahid Hamid, Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob and Ms. Aasiya Riaz.


In its interaction with Ch. Shujaat Hussain, the CGEP delegation underscored the importance of all stakeholders following the principles of fair play in Elections. The CGEP shared its electoral reform agenda and analysis with Ch. Shujaat Hussain. Highlighting the crucial issue of restoration of Judiciary, the Group sought the PML-Q's position. Ch. Shujaat Hussain said that his party believed in independence of Judiciary but would unveil its position on restoration of Judiciary on February 19, a day after the General Election. Ch. Shujaat told CGEP delegation that PML-Q is committed to following code of conduct. He offered to personally participate in a meeting with CGEP, the heads of major political parties and the ECP to discuss any required changes in the Code of Conduct and to follow those as a party for a free and fair election. He appreciated the role of CGEP as an indigenous body of monitoring electoral process and said that CGEP's views and analysis, based on understanding of national scenario were welcome by all stakeholders in Pakistan.


Receiving CGEP delegation, Mian Nawaz Sharif reiterated the resolve of his party on the restoration of Judiciary to the CGEP delegation. The CGEP members interacted with the PML-N leadership on possible ways to ensure restoration of Judiciary without resorting to two/thirds majority in the Parliament.


The CGEP delegation also met with the Provincial Election Commissioner Punjab, Mr. Ayaz Baig and discussed with him the ECP's role in ensuring free and fair elction. The CGEP delegation pointed out that it was the ECP's responsibility to take action itself against violation of elctoral code so openly violated even through the sizes of hoardings and banners. The CGEP delegation enquired about the number of postal ballot applications received throughout the province and the number of postal ballots issued that Mr. Ayaz Baig said he would share with CGEP.


The CGEP is a non-partisan body of eminent Pakistanis, facilitated by PILDAT to monitor the process leading up to General Election 2008. Information about CGEP, its activities, members and its position papers and publications can be obtained at www.pildat.org/CGEP