ECP to probe horse trading in Senate polls

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PML-N, PPP lobbing to win Chairman slot, PTI supporting Balochistan demand

Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad

Taking notice of the allegations of horse trading in recent polls on the fifty two seats of Senate, Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Tuesday announced that it would probe the allegations.
In a release 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.
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.
Meanwhile, Chief of Awami Muslim League (AML) Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Tuesday alleged that all members of Balochistan Assembly sold their votes in Senate elections.
In a statement, he said said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) lawmakers also sold their votes for Rs5 crores each.

The FATA Senators have demanded of PPP to give deputy chairmanship of the Senate to them in return for their support in the chairman Senate election.
On the other hand the Pakhtunkhua Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) on Tuesday assured PML-N of its complete support in the upcoming Senate elections for the slot of chairman.
The PML-N and PPP are approaching all political stake holders in the Senate to vote for their candidate for the chairman Senate slot.
JUI-F is in contact of both PML-N and PPP and both the contenders for Senate chairman slot are vying to get the support of the party. The PML-N is also trying to woo Jamaat-i-Islami votes and talks are underway between the top leaders of the two parties. The stance of the MQM-P votes is confusing due to the rift among the Bahadurabad and PIB factions. PTI has supported the demand of electing Senate chairman from Balochistan.

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