Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhary on Tuesday tendered an apology to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) for his critical remarks about the Commission, accusing it of pushing the opposition’s agenda.
On September 10, the information minister had held a press conference in which he accused the Election Commission of pushing the agenda of the opposition and stalling the progress that the government wanted to make in the election laws.
Fawad Chaudhary had accused the CEC of acting as a ‘mouthpiece’ of the opposition. He also accused the ECP chief of indulging in politics rather than constructively engaging with the government on the issue of electoral reforms. The Election Commission on 16th September issued a notice to Chaudhary for issuing derogatory remarks and asked him to present evidence to substantiate his claims.
Earlier today, Fawad tendered an apology to the election commission when he appeared before a two-member bench that is hearing his case. The Commission directed the Minister to submit a written apology.
The Election Commission is simultaneously hearing a case about Railways Minister, Azam Swati, who used severe language against the commission. Swati had accused the ECP of taking bribes to rig elections and said that the commission was involved in undermining democracy in the country. His remark that such an institution should be set on ‘fire’, prompted the ECP members to leave the Senate Standing Committee meeting where amendments to the Election Act 2021 were being discussed.
Swati did not appear before the commission and his counsel told the members that he was busy with parliamentary proceedings. The ECP adjourned the hearing till December 3, warning that charges would be framed at the next hearing regardless of whether a reply was submitted or not.