Saturday September 18, 2021

ECP ready to move against Fawad, Swati

The commission decided to issue notices to the two ministers.
September 15, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Tuesday vehemently denied the allegations levelled by federal ministers, Azam Khan Swati and Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, and sought related record from the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) for further action.

The commission decided to issue notices to the two ministers. An ECP meeting was held here in this regard, with Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja in the chair, and was attended by ECP members Nisar Ahmad Durrani and Shah Mohammad Jatoi, besides senior commission officers.

The ECP meeting decided to seek evidence from Minister Swati, who had accused the ECP of taking bribe and being on the payroll of someone. Ch Fawad Hussain had also levelled allegations against the ECP and the CEC during a press briefing.

The allegations, levelled against the ECP and CEC, were discussed at length during the meeting. During a meeting with the president and the Senate standing committee, allegations were levelled against the ECP and the chief election commissioner.

The ECP meeting was expected on Monday, but was delayed for a day to ponder over the possible actions in the wake of a barrage of allegations by the cabinet members. The ECP directed PEMRA to compile all record related to the proceedings of the Presidency, the Senate standing committee and the ministers’ press briefing, and submit that to the ECP for further action.

The media had reported the allegations, levelled by Swati, who alleged that the Election Commission had 'received bribes for opposing electronic voting machines (EVMs) and i-voting. At a joint press conference along with Swati and Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan, Fawad Ch had said the attitude of the Election Commission was tantamount to negation of the Parliament and that the chief election commissioner should contest elections and come to the parliament if he wanted to do politics.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Information Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said the respect for the institution of Election Commission of Pakistan ( ECP) aside, but if its high-ups did not like people talking about the political character of personalities, then they should keep their conduct non-political.

The information minister said what he had said about political leanings of the ECP and the chief election commissioner was only his own opinion but also that of the cabinet members as well as the federal government authorities.

He said at present the ECP was incomplete, and it would be seen whether it could issue a notice [to a minister or not]. “We will reply in detail if notice is received. The status of the Election Commission as an institution is unquestionable. But personalities are not without faults and criticism is on the conduct of personalities and not the institution,” he said in a tweet, following the meeting of the Election Commission.