close
Saturday December 04, 2021

ECP seeks in-person explanation from Azam Swati over allegations

Swati had lashed out at ECP and accused it of taking money from companies that make electronic voting machines

By Web Desk
October 21, 2021
Federal Minister for Railways and PTI leader Azam Swati addressing a press conference in Lahore on January 23, 2021. — APP/File
Federal Minister for Railways and PTI leader Azam Swati addressing a press conference in Lahore on January 23, 2021. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)  has served a show-cause notice and asked Federal Minister for Railways and PTI leader Azam Swati to appear in-person and give an explanation over his allegations against the institution.

A bench, comprising ECP members Nisar Ahmed Durrani and Shah Mohammad Jatoi heard the allegations against Swati on Thursday in Islamabad.

Swati's lawyer was replaced by a junior lawyer in the commission, who shared that lawyer Chaudhry Faisal was busy in the Supreme Court.

Jatoi asked the junior lawyer why he had not taken a briefing over the case from the senior lawyer, while Durrani pointed out that only giving power of attorney won't solve the problem.

Swati had lashed out at the ECP, accusing it of taking money from companies that make electronic voting machines during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs on September 10 and another held the night prior at President House.

He had alleged that the ECP is destroying the country's democracy and that it is involved in rigging.

Members of the ECP had walked out of the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs  following Swati's allegations.

Three weeks ago, the ECP had given federal ministers Fawad Chaudhry and Swati more time to submit their replies regarding allegations they levelled against the commission and the chief election commissioner (CEC).

Sources privy to the matter said that the ECP had sought replies from the federal ministers in three weeks.

They said that action against the ministers will be taken under the Election Act in case of non-compliance with the orders and their behaviour may be considered contempt if proof backing the allegations is not provided.

The ECP had served notices to Chaudhry and Swati on September 16, seeking explanations within a week from both the ministers for accusations against CEC Sikander Sultan Raja and the commission.

However, both the ministers, on September 23, had requested an extension from the ECP to submit their replies.

Chaudhry had said that the ECP has "become the headquarters for Opposition parties" and the chief election commissioner is "acting as their mouthpiece", during a press conference on the same day Swati made his allegations.