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Check bid to rig polls, Benazir tells CEC

By B. Muralidhar Reddy

ISLAMABAD Aug. 28. Keeping up pressure on the Musharraf Government, the former Pakistan Prime Minister and chairperson, Pakistan People's Party, Benazir Bhutto, today petitioned the Election Commission against alleged efforts by the regime to ``rig'' the October general elections.

In a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner, Irshad Hasan Khan, Ms. Bhutto, who has filed her nomination from two constituencies, urged him to take notice of the ``violation'' of election laws by the regime. She drew the attention of the CEC to the PPP's suggestion to the Government for the constitution of an interim government to ensure free and fair elections. Alternatively, power could be transferred to the judiciary for holding the elections as in Bangladesh. Ms. Bhutto said that at least, "politically motivated'' officials should be replaced with "neutral ones."

``The continuation of the politically motivated officials affects the fairness of the elections The confidence in the electoral process can be restored by concrete steps failing which the electoral turnout could be low as voters boycott a process with pre-judged conclusions.''

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