Federal ministers urge ECP to prove it was impartial in Senate polls

Fawad Chaudhry says ECP shouldn't be 'displeased' about the response, rather be "embarassed" about it

News Desk March 05, 2021


Addressing a press conference in response to the Election Commission of Pakistan's (ECP) letter, issued following Prime Minister Imran Khan's questioning of the body's transparency, federal ministers on Friday asked the ECP to prove it was impartial in the March 3 Senate elections.

"Institutions demonstrate their impartiality with their action, not through press statements," said Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry.

He opined that the release of a statement by a constitutional institution in response to the premier was inappropriate, and such an act will be criticised.

He added that Prime Minister Imran Khan has always spoken about the impartiality of institutions.

"The premier said that the ECP remained unable to ensure transparency in Senate's elections," the minister said, adding that, "It isn't a matter to be 'displeased' about, rather one to be embarrassed about."

Read PTI challenges ECP’s decision for Daska re-polling in SC

"The independent status and impartiality of the commission should be evident on genuine grounds," Fawad remarked.

He noted that the ECP in its statement has asked for evidence of rigging, whereas audio and video evidence already exists with it.

"In the video of Sindh minister Nasir Shah, the conversation about the exchange of Rs120 million was clear, while Maryam said in her speech that the ticket was sold. Ali Musa Gilani's video also came to the fore," he remarked.

The minister said that the woman candidate of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) received votes as per the proportion of the party's seats, while Hafeez Shaikh did not.

"Winning one election and losing the another is itself evidence of rigging," he claimed.

Fawad said that ECP doesn't even seem to care about the Supreme Court's directions. "I hope that the ECP will review its stance as doing so is in the interest of the country. The government supports the commission [in doing so]."

Speaking on the occasion, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said, "[Pakistan] People's Party and PML-N turned our culture into a culture of money-making."

"Corruption and use of money [for vested gains] were then spread in the entirety of the society," he said, adding that the two parties damaged Pakistan's ethical and moral standards.

Read more Yousuf Raza Gilani's election as senator challenged with ECP

Earlier today, while responding to PM Imran Khan's live address a day earlier, ECP issued a statement rejecting the "displeasure and discussion" over March 3 Senate polls.

According to the authority, the institution won't take any pressure with regard to rendering its duties under the Constitution.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Imran Khan questioned the body's transparency in the polls and held the ECP responsible for damaging the country’s democracy by failing to hold fair and transparent Senate elections.

Accusing the national poll supervisor of allegedly protecting those who made money by holding Senate elections through secret ballot, the prime minister had said that the ECP’s failure to hold fair and transparent elections has damaged the country’s morality and democracy.

The premier had added in his address to the nation that corruption took place right under the ECP’s nose and what happened in the Senate elections was a reflection of all the problems of the country.


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