ECP to probe alleged horse-trading in Senate elections

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) announced that it would probe the allegations of horse-trading in the recently held Senate polls.

In a notification issued, the ECP has summoned all political party heads and leaders who levelled horse trading allegations to appear before the commission with proof on March 14.

In the latest development, the ECP issued notices to a number of parliamentarians, including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Farooq Sattar.

Other lawmakers who were issued notices include Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Maryam Aurangzeb and Ameer Muqam, as well as MQM-P’s Khawaja Izhar. Pakistan Sarzameen Party’s Raza Haroon was also asked to appear before the commission.

The ECP has asked the lawmakers to either appear personally or through a lawyer, failing which the commission would take the decision on its own, a notification said.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan have expressed reservations over some political parties bagging Senate seats without having substantial representation in the provincial assemblies.
Speaking to media outside the accountability court on Monday, PML-N Quaid and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif stressed it was crucial to get to the bottom of this issue. “This game of money should be buried. This has happened in the past, but this time it was too open and brazen.”
Nawaz’s political opponent, PTI chairman Imran Khan said the members of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial assembly gave into horse trading. In a report presented to Khan by the party’s core group, 15 PTI MPAs were accused of selling their votes.
MQM-P leader Farooq Sattar has announced he would challenge the Senate results in the ECP over horse trading. Sattar said he would also approach the Sindh High Court over the matter.