Tuesday Sep 14, 2021
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has decided to issue notices to Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry and Railways Minister Azam Khan Swati for accusations against Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikander Sultan Raja and the commission.
CEC Raja on Tuesday chaired a meeting of the ECP where the matter of allegations levelled by the federal ministers was discussed.
ECP members Nisar Durrani, Shah Muhammad Jatoi, and other officials of the commission attended the meeting.
The members condemned the allegations "in the strongest possible terms" and rejected them.
The commission decided to seek proof backing the accusations by Swati, which were levelled during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee for Parliamentary Affairs and another held the night prior at the President House, and those by Chaudhry which were levelled during a press conference.
The meeting decided to issue legal notices to both the ministers.
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, 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.
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".