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ECP to seek proof of Fawad Chaudhry, Azam Swati’s allegations against it

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ECP resolves to issue legal notices to the federal ministers. — Radio Pakistan/File
ECP resolves to issue legal notices to the federal ministers. — Radio Pakistan/File

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday said it will seek proof of accusations by Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati and  Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry, levelled against Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja and the commission.

The decision was made during an ECP meeting — headed by CEC Raja — to discuss the matter of the federal ministers’ allegations.

The meeting was attended by ECP members Nisar Durrani, Shah Muhammad Jatoi, and other officials of the commission.

It was also decided in the meeting that  notices will be issued to Swati and Chaudhry for the allegations  which were levelled by the former during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee for Parliamentary Affairs and another held the night prior at the President House, and those levelled by the latter during a press conference.

The ECP has also sought records of the Presidential House and Senate Standing Committee meetings and Chaudhry’s press conference from Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority.

Chaudhry willing to give ‘detailed response’ to ECP’s notice

Chaudhry, in reaction to the ECP’s announcement, said that he will give a “detailed response” when gets the notice.

For now, he wrote on Twitter: “With all due respect for the ECP, if you do not wish to discuss political ongoings, then your conduct should be free of politics.”

He went on to state that the ECP, as an institution, has an “incontestable” standing but personalities associated with the body are “not above mistakes” and all criticism is always directed towards individuals and not the institution itself.

Allegations by the federal ministers

On Friday, the ECP officials had walked out of a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs after Swati accused the commission of taking money from companies that make electronic voting machines.

Later on the day, Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry said during a press conference that it seems the ECP has “become the headquarters for Opposition parties” and the chief election commissioner is “acting as their mouthpiece”.

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