ISLAMABAD: Former National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq on Saturday lashed out at the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and alleged that it was biased against the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).
Speaking to journalists, he said the Chief Election Commissioner retired Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza did not bother to respond to his call and left his office without meeting him and other representatives of his party. He was accompanied by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb.
Mr Sadiq reminded the journalists that he was still the speaker of the National Assembly and termed Justice Raza’s behaviour “regrettable”.
Spokesperson says commission conducted a ‘transparent election’ and it could not be intimidated with tactics adopted by PML-N leaders
Reacting to Mr Sadiq’s remarks, ECP spokesperson Altaf Ahmed Khan said the commission had conducted a “transparent election” and it could not be intimidated with the tactics adopted by PML-N leaders.
He said that Mr Sadiq had contacted the chief election commissioner and expressed his desire to meet all the members of the ECP. “However he [Mr Sadiq] was informed that members of the ECP were not available because it was Saturday and that he would be informed about their presence on some other day,” he said.
The ECP spokesperson claimed that Justice Raza was present in his office till 5pm, but the PML-N leaders did not reach there by then.
Meanwhile, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed of the PML-N met ECP Secretary Babar Yaqub Fateh Mohammad and took up with him complaints about some election results.
He said that Dr Shizra Mansab Ali Khan, who was running for the NA-118 seat, was winning by 5,000 votes by the end of the polling day. However, the next day she was declared the runner-up, who trailed the winner by about 2,000 votes.
Her application for a recount was rejected, said Senator Sayed. On the other hand, a similar application from a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf candidate, Bilal Virk (NA-117), was accepted.
“Her application has now been accepted. Similarly, on my request the ECP has allowed recounting in three provincial assembly constituencies of Dera Ghazi Khan area,” the PML-N leader said.
Recounting had also been allowed on the NA-249 seat, which former Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif was said to have lost by a margin of less than 700 votes, he said.
In response to Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s demand that members of the ECP should resign, the commission said it had conducted a “transparent election” and thousands of observes, including foreign nationals, had agreed with this claim.
Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2018