ECP begins probe into allegations of horse-trading in Senate elections

March 14, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Wednesday said it will use all powers at its disposal to probe the allegations of massive horse-trading in the recently held Senate elections.

Chief Election Commissioner Sardar Muhammad Raza lamented that unfortunately, those who sold their votes and those who bought them were parliamentarians.

It was widely reported that horse-trading was committed in March 3 elections for 52 Senate seats, he said and added purchasing and selling of votes was a serious crime.

Addressing the politicians and representatives of parties who attended the hearing, the CEC said the rationale behind summoning them was to seek their assistance in an investigation into the matter.

He said successful senators bagged more votes than their parties’ representation in the respective provincial assemblies.

Uzma Bukhari said PTI senator Sarwar Chaudhry himself admitted in TV talk show that six of the PML-N lawmakers voted for him. PTI lawyer Shahid Gondal said the party had already formed a committee to carry out a probe against the lawmakers who voted for candidates of other parties instead of their own.

The electoral body took notice of media reports about alleged horse-trading in Senate elections and directed politicians making such claims to come up with proofs if they have to substantiate their claims.

Earlier, Former Chief Justice of Pakistan and Chairman Pakistan Justice and Democratic Party (PJDP) Justice (retd) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry had also filed a complaint with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) with regards to claims of horse trading in the recently concluded Senate Election.

After filing the complaint, while speaking to Roze News the former Chief Justice of Pakistan said that he provided the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) the clippings of newspapers of Pakistan Group of Newspapers where news reports regarding allegations of horse trading leveled by various politicians were published.

Chaudhry said that Editor in Chief Pakistan Group of Newspapers and Chairman Roze News Sardar Khan Niazi had highlighted the issue of alleged horse trading in Senate Election though his newspapers Daily Pakistan, Islamabad and Daily The Patriot.

It is pertinent to mention here that Sardar Khan Niazi had requested the relevant institutions to take note of allegations of horse trading and use of money in Senate Election through his program Sachi Baat way before the Senate Election were held. INP/News Desk