Ministers accused ECP officials of bribery, urged CEC to resign
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has decided to serve legal notices on Federal Minister for Raiways Azam Khan Swati and Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry over their scathing remarks on the election body for its objection on the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the next general elections.
A meeting of ECP officials was held in Islamabad held on Tuesday. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sikandar Sultan Raja chaired the meeting.
The CEC was briefed in detail about what happened in the Senate standing committee last week.
Participants of the ECP meeting decided that the railways minister will be asked to provide proof to support his allegations of ECP taking bribes.
ECP officials said that action against the ministers will be taken to its logical conclusion.
Pemra has been directed to provide full footage of the conference held by the federal ministers at the Press Information Department on Friday. The minister had levelled serious allegations against the ECP.
The commission also decided to get details of the meetings that took place in President House.
Last week during a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Parliamentary Affairs, Azam Swati had said that the ECP was the root of destruction of democracy in the country and such institutions should be set on fire.
Swati had also levelled serious allegations of rigging and bribery on ECP officials.
ECP officials had walked out of the meeting in protest.
Later, Swati along with Fawad Chaurdhy and PM’s Advisor for Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan held a press conference at the Press Information Department in Islamabad.
He said that the government had been working on improving the performance of electronic voting machines for two years but the ECP would not budge.
Chaudhry said that the CEC should resign if he was “so fond of politics.”
The ECP has rejected the use of EVMs in the next general elections, saying they could neither stop rigging nor ensure timely release of the results.
In a report, it submitted to the Senate’s standing committee on parliamentary affairs, the ECP had raised 37 objections.
The ECP said the EVMs – that the information minister claimed the government spent two years improving – were “hackable” and not tamper-proof.
The commission said more time was needed before the implementation of EVMs as the next general election was just two years away.